Oregon is a fault car accident state, which means that drivers responsible for car accidents must pay for their victims’ damages. If you sustain injuries in a car accident that someone else caused, you have two options to pursue compensation: you can file an insurance claim, or you can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
During the lawsuit process, you and your attorney will enter a phase known as discovery. During discovery, you and the at-fault party will exchange information, ask questions, and take depositions of relevant parties and witnesses. You will likely need to undergo a deposition when filing your claim.
A deposition is a recorded statement that occurs during the discovery process of a personal injury claim. The witness or relevant party will swear under oath that his or her testimony is true. These proceedings typically take place at an attorney’s office in the presence of both lawyers and a court reporter. During your deposition, the defense attorney will ask you a series of questions about the accident, your injuries, and how the accident impacted your life.
You will need to be very careful with your responses; the purpose of a deposition is to provide evidence that either party could use in the upcoming trial. Anything you say could be potential evidence against you. Your attorney will work closely with you to prepare for the deposition and understand how to navigate the other lawyer’s line of questioning.
After a deposition concludes, several processes will take place that is vital to your lawsuit. First, the court reporter who was present at the deposition will prepare a transcript based on the recordings he or she took. It may take a few weeks for the reporter to finalize the transcript.
Both sides will receive a copy of the transcript, and your attorney will carefully review it. He or she will explain the details of the transcript to you and explain any errors, inconsistencies, or other important information he or she finds. If you notice any misinformation or mistakes in the deposition transcript, you will need to raise these concerns with your lawyer as soon as possible.
After reviewing the deposition, your attorney will explain how the deposition can impact your case and how the defense attorney could use the information. If necessary, your attorney may order another deposition to clear any misinformation or allow another witness to provide information. After your own deposition, the at-fault party may request that you receive an independent medical examination, which your attorney will prepare you for. At the independent medical exam, a doctor chosen by the insurance company will review your injuries and damages.
Although this process may seem unbiased, it is important to remember that it is not in the insurance company’s best interest to provide maximum compensation. The doctor may try to minimize the impact of your injuries in an attempt to reduce your damages. Your lawyer will know these tactics and will work closely with you to prepare.
The car accident process can be complex, especially if your case proceeds to a lawsuit. In these situations, you need a lawyer on your side to guide you through interactions with the insurance company and defense attorney.
Your car accident lawyer will explain how to handle a deposition, prepare you for medical examinations, and discuss each stage of your case in detail so you know what to expect. Contact a car accident attorney in Portland as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your legal options.