The Personal Injury Process in Tulsa: Depositions
How does the oral question-and-answer process work in my injury case?
In many injury cases, the deposition process is the most important phase. Depositions are oral questions and answers that are recorded. They are often done in-person but can also be taken via videoconference under certain circumstances. The stronger impression you make at you deposition, the more likely the insurance companies are to fairly and properly evaluate your claim. An impressive video deposition by your doctor can also help convince a defense lawyer to tell an insurance company to increase the settlement authority on your claim, and convince a jury of your peers just how severely you have been injured and harmed. Depositions are also our chance to see the type of case the defendant(s) have and what type of witness they will make should the case go to trial.
At Biby Law Firm, our trial lawyers are skilled at handling depositions in different types of personal injury cases. We understand the issues involved for each accident and injury case that the deposition process must address.
How can we help?
- What is a deposition for?
- What is the deposition process in Tulsa injury cases?
- Who can be deposed in a Tulsa personal injury case?
- Why are depositions used for my doctors and expert witnesses?
- How do I prepare for the depositions?
- Can the depositions be used in court?
- Do you have a personal injury lawyer near me?
What is a deposition for?
Depositions are a way for each party to discover the other party’s position. The lawyers for the defendants will be looking to see if you can prove their client is liable, what injuries you suffered, and what damages you have. In addition to sizing up your answers, the lawyer will also be looking to see how strong and credible you will appear to a jury. In the same way, our lawyers will examine the defendant’s position on liability, their arguments to contest the severity of your injuries, and how various parties may be perceived at trial if and when they testify.
What is the deposition process in Tulsa injury cases?
Normally, after the pleadings (complaints and answers) are filed, the lawyers begin the discovery phase of your case. This phase usually involves two parts:
- The submission of written questions via interrogatories, requests for production and requests for admission; and
- Oral depositions.
Usually, the written questions are submitted before the oral questions (depositions), but some lawyers conduct the oral questions first.
Generally, the deposition takes place in the county where the case is filed. There are additional rules if a defendant lives in another county, state, or country. In most personal injury cases, our Tulsa accident lawyers and the defense lawyers work out their own time and place for conducting the depositions.
A court stenographer records all the testimony and provides a transcript to the lawyers after the depositions are completed. In some cases a deposition may also be recorded by a videographer.
Who can be deposed in a Tulsa personal injury case?
Anyone with information regarding a potential claim can be deposed in a case. The deposition is the formal taking of testimony under oath, meaning the attorneys will rely on what is said in a deposition to prepare for what that person will likely say at trial. The parties, witnesses, police officers, doctors, experts and family/friends of victims are all common deponents in personal injury cases.
Why are depositions used for my doctors and expert witnesses?
Most personal injury cases require that a doctor testify about your injuries, your treatments, and your overall health. Each side has the right to question any doctors before the trial to discover what that doctor might say, and how they might present their testimony. In some cases, we may seek to introduce the medical reports of the doctors in lieu of their testimony. In most cases, your doctor will need to testify either in person or through a video deposition. A video deposition can be used as a substitute for in-person testimony in some cases, allowing a jury to watch a previously recorded direct and cross examination of a witness when the case actually reaches trial instead of having to try and accommodate a witness’ work or family schedule.
How do I prepare for the depositions?
Our Tulsa personal injury lawyers will explain how the deposition works and what you can expect before the actual deposition takes place. Normally, the depositions are held at a lawyer or court reporter’s office. The deposition process is semi-formal. While the judge is not present the questions and answers have the same effect as in-court testimony since it is given under oath. Barring a few very narrow exceptions, because a party may only be forced to give a deposition once in a case the attorneys are given wide latitude to ask any and all questions which could be remotely relevant to a case.
For your part, you will be asked questions by the defense lawyer about how the accident happened, your medical treatment, your income losses, your background, how you’re coping with your injuries now, and other relevant questions. Your attorney will set aside as much time as you need leading up to the deposition to make sure you are adequately prepared. We’ll explain that you shouldn’t volunteer any information, and you should wait to see if we object to any questions. We’ll review how you should dress and respond to questions that are likely to be discussed during your deposition.
Can the depositions be used in court?
There are rules for introducing parts of a deposition or all of the deposition in court. Generally, the purpose of depositions is to discover the strength and weaknesses of the other side’s case to determine if your personal injury claim should be settled – and to help prepare your case for trial.
Except for special cases such as a video deposition, a deposition usually won’t be introduced as direct evidence at trial because you, the defendants, and other witnesses will be available to testify “live” before the jury. That does not, however, mean that a deposition cannot be used for other purposes. Depositions can be used to contradict or impeach the testimony of a witness. For example, if a defendant says he/she only had one second to respond at trial but indicated he/she had ten seconds to respond at a previous deposition, our lawyers will use that inconsistency to impeach his/her testimony. A deposition may also be used in place of a witness appearing live if that person dies before trial or is otherwise unavailable for some reason.
Do you have a personal injury lawyer near me?
Our two Tulsa offices are located at 1646 S Denver Ave. and 6305 E 120th Ct. Suite K9. We also meet clients, when necessary, at their homes, healthcare facilities, and by video conference.
Contact our respected Tulsa personal injury deposition lawyers now
At Biby Law Firm, our seasoned personal injury lawyers understand that most victims are nervous about depositions. We’ll help you get through your deposition with confidence.
For help with any accident in or near Tulsa, call our experienced trial lawyers or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve all of Oklahoma including the communities of Broken Arrow, Bixby, Claremore, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Owasso, Wagoner, Muskogee, and the surrounding areas.