Negligent driving on the part of others is a leading cause of car accidents and injuries in Houston. Oftentimes, filing a car accident lawsuit can be the best course of action to seek compensation for your damages. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer in Houston at Johnson Garcia LLP can help you take the steps required to seek justice after suffering accident injuries. One of these steps may include a car accident deposition which can play a key role in your case’s outcome.
What is a car accident deposition?
Depositions occur during the discovery phase of litigation, after your car accident lawsuit is filed. It involves answering in person a series of questions about the circumstances surrounding your car accident. Procedures for conducting depositions are outlined under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Those present generally include:
- The car accident victim, referred to as the deponent;
- The attorney representing them in a car accident lawsuit;
- The defense attorney, representing the at-fault party involved;
- A court reporter.
A deposition is not a formal legal proceeding at the courthouse and is generally held either at your attorney’s office or at the court reporter’s place of business. However, you will be sworn in, meaning that answers you provide are under oath, the same as they would be if testifying in court.
What to expect in a deposition for a car accident
What kind of questions should you expect at a car accident deposition? Generally, you will need to answer the following:
- Questions about you, your background, and your personal life: These include your name, address, occupation, any degrees you hold, medical conditions you suffer from, and information about your current marital status and your family.
- Questions regarding your driving record and any prior involvement with the legal system: These include whether you have ever been involved in a car accident before, had any type of lawsuit filed against you, or whether you were ever convicted of a crime.
- Questions about the circumstances leading up to your car accident: These include road, traffic, and weather conditions at the time of the crash, where you were coming from and headed to, your speed limit, any activities you may have been engaged in while driving, and whether you had been drinking prior to the accident.
- Questions about when the accident happened: These include when you first noticed the other driver involved, each of your positions on the road, how fast each of you was going, the exact point and type of impact, and where each vehicle ended up in the aftermath.
- Questions regarding what happened immediately after: These include when you notified police, any interactions you had with the other driver or witnesses at the scene, whether your vehicle had to be towed, and when you sought treatment for your injuries.
- Questions regarding your injuries and medical care: These include requesting a specific description of the injuries you suffered, your symptoms now and in the immediate aftermath of the crash, the medical care you required, your doctor’s prognosis, and any pre-existing medical conditions.
Once the defense council is finished, our car accident lawyer in Houston may ask follow-up questions as part of the deposition process. The amount of time it takes to conduct a disposition varies based on the complexity of the case. Generally, depositions may take anywhere from an hour to several hours to complete.
How do I prepare for a deposition?
How you answer questions during a deposition can have a major impact on the outcome of a car accident lawsuit. The defense attorney will attempt to use your answers to cast doubt on the cause of your accident or the extent of the damages you suffered. You can prepare by knowing what to do and what NOT to do:
- Do review the types of questions likely to be asked with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Houston prior to the deposition.
- Don’t overelaborate when answering questions; provide only responsive information requested.
- Do be honest and stick to the basic facts in your case.
- Don’t guess or speculate when providing information; admit if you do not know the answer to a question.
- Do refresh your memory of the accident by reviewing police reports and medical records prior to the deposition if your lawyer so advises.
- Don’t let the defense attorney intimidate you into saying anything you will regret or that is not true.
- Do remain calm during the deposition; refuse to get flustered and think carefully before answering any questions.
What happens after a deposition in a car accident case? Your case may go to trial or a settlement may be negotiated through mediation.
Prepare for the claims process with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Houston
If you’ve suffered an accident, enlist the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Houston from Johnson Garcia LLP to prepare you for the claims process. With over 30 years of combined experience, you can count on us to be by your side every step of the way, including during the car accident deposition stage. Contact us online or give us a call to schedule your free consultation today.