If you have suffered losses in an Orange County car crash, it is possible to recover fair compensatory damages with the help of an Orange County car accident lawyer. However, recovering damages is not always a simple or easy process.
In a typical car crash claim in California, you must file for damages with an insurance company. This is usually the insurer of the at-fault driver who caused the crash.
It’s important to note that it is in the interest of the insurance company to pay you as low as possible for your claim or not at all. So you may find that the insurer you filed with has raised unfair objections or simply rejected your Orange County car crash claim altogether. When this happens, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the insurer. Once a suit has been filed, the discovery process begins which often includes deposition.
Filing a Lawsuit and the Discovery Process
When you file a lawsuit, the at-fault driver’s insurance company also hires an attorney to represent the defendant and the company. After hiring legal representation, the other party enters a formal reply to your lawsuit. With this process complete, a new process begins which is known as the ‘discovery process.’
This process is basically about discovering the facts surrounding the case based on the evidence, witness statements, expert testimony, medical records, and other sources. A vital part of the discovery process is depositions.
What is a Deposition and How it Works?
During a car accident deposition, you are questioned by the defendant’s attorneys. Similarly, any other witnesses or experts that are relevant to the lawsuit may likewise be deposed, by your attorneys or by the attorneys of the other side. The deposition proceeds in a question-and-answer format. When you are being deposed, the defense attorney will ask you a question, get your answer, ask the next question, and so on.
The entire deposition is typically transcribed by a court reporter. In addition, the session may also be audio or video-taped. So it is important to be well prepared before you go to a deposition and know how to respond to the expected questions about your Orange County car crash.
Preparing for the Deposition
Before you go to a deposition, it is vital that you consult your attorney and know what to expect. You will typically be asked a long list of questions pertaining to your personal details, education, work history, medical history, the accident itself, and so on. These questions are meant to bring the facts of the case to light. They are also an attempt by the other party’s attorney to find contradictions in your claim and seek to discredit you. It is important to be fully prepared so that you don’t end up damaging your Orange County car crash claim.
Here are some handy tips to make sure you do well at a deposition.
- Answer the Questions: It is always a good idea to respond to any and all questions put forth by the defense at a deposition. If a question is unfair or irrelevant, your attorney will bring it up or it can be eventually removed from the transcription.
- Stick to the Facts: You must always answer truthfully at a deposition, as you are legally obligated to respond correctly. An easy way of ensuring this is to stick with the facts. However, that doesn’t mean you need to always share all the facts pertaining a matter.
- Keep it Brief: Keep it short and to-the-point. As noted above, stick to the facts but answer only as much as you are asked. If you volunteer additional details, you may end up damaging your claim and giving the defense material with which to discredit you.
- Keep a Cool Head: Many pointy and seemingly personal questions may bother you at a deposition. But it is highly recommended that you stay calm and keep a level head. In many cases, it is precisely the intention of the defense attorney to make you lose your cool and then have you blurt out things that can be used against you. Don’t fall for this trap.
After the Deposition
Once the deposition concludes, copies of transcription are made available to you and your attorney, as well as the other side. The defense may further request you to undergo a defense medical examination. This is a medical examination performed by a physician of the defense’s choice, so it is a lot like a deposition. At such an examination, do not volunteer any unnecessary or additional information to the doctor. You must also get the reports of a physician of your choice to make sure that an unbiased medical opinion can be derived based on both reports about the Orange County car crash.
Hiring an Orange County Car Accident Lawyer
If you intend to file a car accident lawsuit in Orange County, it is imperative that you hire a good lawyer. Here at Crockett Law Group, we have extensive experience in handling car crash lawsuits. Our lawyers can help you through the deposition and other stages of a lawsuit while negotiating for the best settlement on your behalf. Reach us today to discuss your claim in detail.