Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a serious accident involving a commercial transport vehicle such as a semi tractor-trailer or a single-unit truck, the attorney(s) representing the defendant insurance company(ies) will probably request your deposition and the deposition of your spouse if he or she is joined to your claim. Insurance companies are reluctant to pay out large settlements until they have explored every aspect of the accident, your medical history and other losses including a loss of wages and disability.
First and foremost, the deposition is a fact-finding mission. When your truck accident lawyer starts the litigation process, a Complaint is filed with the court. It contains limited information about the accident and the damages suffered in outlined form. Meanwhile, the defense will review the police report and use their investigators to gain further knowledge. During the discovery process, your answers to defendant(s) interrogatories along with the exhibits you and your attorney provide, continue to paint a picture of your claim. If the insurance company(ies) have unanswered questions that need to be addressed before further discussions of settlement or mediation with your truck accident lawyer ensue, they may request you be deposed under oath to fill in the factual gaps.
The truth is your best friend. You have discussed your case at great length with your truck accident lawyer. Your attorney has looked at your case from every angle, anticipating any problems that may arise and has already gone over them with you. Your transparency about prior accidents, medical issues, and surgical procedures allows your attorney to get out in front of these matters and minimize any concerns. Keep in mind that your attorney believes you have a legitimate claim.
A few days before the deposition, begin to familiarize yourself with evidence of your claim. This includes but is not limited to the police report, your answers to the defendant’s set of interrogatories, any diaries you may have kept while you were being treated and medical records. Get plenty of rest the night before and eat well the morning of your deposition to increase your stamina.
The following are some tips to follow while your being deposed:
- Listen carefully and fully to the questions before answering.
- If you don’t understand the question, ask that it be stated in a different way.
- Give direct, to the point, truthful answers. Do not elaborate, embellish or add to the discussion.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question, do not guess. State that you don’t know or cannot remember.
- The court reporter is there to transcribe the proceedings and conversations that have taken place. Give only verbal answers—no nods or head shaking.
- If you are asked about distances, weights or times, preface your answer with ‘this is an estimation or approximation…’
- You may be asked to verify documents. Read each document carefully before you testify about it.
- Be truthful in your answers.
- Do not answer any questions that your attorney objects to.
- If you need a break, do not be shy about asking for a few minutes.
Soon after the deposition, you will receive a copy of the transcribed proceedings. Read your deposition carefully. If you have changes in your testimony, your trucking accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN relies on will instruct you as to how to make those changes before you place your signature on the document.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury cases and depositions.