When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s mistakes or negligence, you always hope that the insurance company involved will see reason and offer a fair settlement. However, that doesn’t always happen.
As you inch closer to a trial, you may eventually have to take part in a deposition. Depositions allow each side’s attorney to question the parties involved in a case outside of the courtroom. They’re an important part of the pre-trial discovery process. Let’s look at some key things that depositions accomplish.
They are designed to eliminate surprises
“Perry Mason moments,” where one party in a case suddenly pulls out surprise evidence and traps the other in a lie, are actually never supposed to happen in real life. A deposition helps both sides gather more information about the case and understand the other party’s version of events.
They lock down testimony
Depositions are given under oath, so each party and all witnesses are required to tell the truth, and everything that’s said is recorded. This helps ensure that neither side will change their story later to try to gain a better outcome in court or for any other reason. If someone does change their story, their testimony from the deposition can be used to discredit them during trial.
They help both sides assess witness credibility
The reality is that intangible factors – such as whether the plaintiff in the case seems honest and whether the defendant is likable (or not) – can sway a judge or jury. Both sides want to see how their clients and witnesses handle themselves under questioning.
It isn’t unusual for a deposition to cause one or both sides to reevaluate their position. That can easily encourage them to settle. Therefore, it’s important to go into the process with your eyes open and well prepared.