Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer -Depositions—giving your story to the other side before trial.
After Interrogatories are exchanged between the parties and answers are given, depositions may be taken by your Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer . In a deposition, your Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer or the other attorney discusses the circumstances of the case and takes a statement from any party involved, either at his/her office or at your attorney’s office in front of a court reporter. Depositions can be taken from all parties, witnesses, medical providers or other relevant witnesses including police officers or other experts like an accident reconstruction specialist, etc.
A deposition will typically last for several hours, but your attorney will prepare you prior to the questioning so that you know what to expect. Deposition questions may be the same questions that you are typically asked in court, as well as other questions involving your background. Depositions are an opportunity for the defense lawyer to get to know you and he/she may ask you questions concerning your entire work history, health history, accident history and personal life, to be followed by a question regarding the accident itself. See questions suggested in the District Court questions list, as well as questions asked in Interrogatories for examples.
Dos and don’ts for depositions
As the deposition is the defense attorney’s opportunity to meet you and decide what kind of witness you are going to make, it is important to dress well and make a good impression. At the deposition it is also essential that you keep your answers short, answer only the question that was asked, do not volunteer any information that was not asked and do not argue with the other lawyer. If the other lawyer asks you a question that involves a “yes” or “no” answer, answer yes or no. Never ask the other lawyer why he is asking certain questions. If the other lawyer asks you a question that is objectionable, your attorney will make the necessary objection; however, most of the time you will have to answer the question anyway since the deposition is done in the other lawyer’s office, outside of the courtroom.
Any objections or the acceptability of any questions will be ruled on later by the court during your trial. If the court feels that the questions were inappropriate, any answers you gave to those “objectionable” questions will not be allowed to be used by the other side. The only time you may refuse to answer a question is when your lawyer instructs you not to answer the question; otherwise, you must answer the question, no matter how irrelevant it may seem. If your attorney does not object, you must answer the question.
When the lawyer is asking you a question, keep in mind the question itself may seem irrelevant, but the question’s importance lies in whether the question is relevant and could lead to relevant material. Questions that may seem irrelevant to you may seem pertinent to the lawyers involved in the case and may lead to information that relates to your particular case. When the other lawyer asks the question, he/she doesn’t know whether the information you are going to give is relevant or not. For example, while it may seem irrelevant to you that you have had other accidents in the past, this fact may be highly relevant to the other side if it turns out that the prior accident(s) involved similar parts of your body or led to long-standing physical complaints that were around before the most recent accident in question. Without asking, the other attorney does not know what information will later become relevant to him and his case.
At a typical deposition your Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer will not ask you any questions, because he/she asks you those questions without putting it on the record. Anything you say at the deposition can be used in the courtroom to impeach your credibility later.
In addition to Interrogatories and depositions, the other side may file a Request for Production of Documents. This request will typically ask for medical records, employment records and any other relevant documents, such as tax returns or lost wage information. These documents must be provided. After the discovery process has been completed, the case will then be scheduled for trial. Prior to trial there may be a settlement conference, as well as an arbitration. Your Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer will be there. Arbitration and settlement conferences are typically used by the court to try and settle cases before they reach the courtroom. The case is usually scheduled shortly after the settlement conference has been completed.