What to Expect at Your Maryland Car Accident Deposition
If you were hurt in a motor vehicle crash and filed a claim for compensation, it is likely that you will need to appear for an official deposition at the request of the other driver’s insurance company. The Discovery Guidelines of the Maryland State Bar Association cover some of the basics regarding depositions, but there is little information on how they work. The proceeding is crucial for settlement negotiations with the insurer, and it is also important if you eventually go to trial for your claim.
Of course, you can trust your Baltimore County auto accident lawyer to be at your side and protect your interests. You may also benefit from reviewing some answers to common questions and tips regarding depositions.
What Happens at a Car Accident Deposition?
This proceeding is essentially an in-person interview where the defendant’s attorney will ask questions regarding the details of the accident. The opposing party does have the right to request a deposition to hear your side of the story, and your lawyer may also depose the other side. A deposition is somewhat formal in the sense that a court reporter will be present to record the session. Plus, you will be sworn in under oath, so your answers to questions must be truthful.
In general, a deposition in an auto crash case will cover two main topics:
- ● Your recollection of how the accident happened, which is important for determining who was at fault; and,
- ● The nature of your injuries and how they affect your life.
Does the Deposition Take Place in Court?
While a deposition is an official part of the litigation process, it does not proceed in a courtroom. In most cases, it will take place at a law office – either your attorney’s firm or the opposing counsel. Regardless, the setting is professional, so dress accordingly and be polite.
What are Some Car Accident Deposition Tips for Answers to Questions?
The most important tip is to only respond to questions with information that is within your knowledge. Do not speculate, make a guess, or answer based upon a hunch. State “I don’t know” where appropriate. In addition:
- A Yes or No answer is sufficient for closed-ended question, so it is not necessary to provide additional detail – unless there is a follow up question;
- Allow yourself sufficient time to process the question before responding;
- Always respond succinctly and in proper word form;
- You cannot provide visible responses to questioning, as the court reporter cannot record you shaking your head, nodding, or shrugging;
- Request clarification if you don’t understand the question; and,
- If opposing counsel asks questions regarding a document, make sure you take enough time to thoroughly review it.
Your Baltimore County Car Accident Attorney Will Guide You Through a Deposition
For more information on what to expect at your deposition in a Maryland auto collision case, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. Our team is skilled in all aspects of these claims, from the initial stages of filing a claim with an insurer to taking your case to court.