How Does a Deposition Work? Cleveland Personal Injury Law Firm Explains the Basics

August 16, 2015

Note: This is the second post in our “How Does It Work?” series. Check out our first entry here.

Most clients who come to Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA with a personal injury claim have heard the term deposition, but few understand what a deposition is, why it is important, and how it works.  It can be an intimidating, frustrating, and difficult experience being deposed when one does not have a clear understanding of the deposition process.  With the guidance of an experienced Ohio trial attorney, however, anyone can understand the basics of how a deposition works.

What is a deposition?

Before a case goes to trial, the parties to the case enter into what is known as discovery—a period where the parties involved exchange information, documents, and evidence concerning the subject of the litigation.  Essentially, discovery allows parties to find out the facts upon which the other parties are premising their arguments.  One of the most valuable ways to do this is by asking parties or witnesses questions about what they saw or know.  A deposition is the mechanism for doing this.  It is the process of taking testimony from a party or witness, under oath and before trial, to learn information about the case.

Why is a deposition important?

By finding out as much relevant information as possible, an attorney can more accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of a claim.  This is essential for additional fact finding, settlement negotiations, and trial preparation.

How does a deposition work?

Depositions can operate differently depending on circumstances, which is why it is important that individuals seeking redress for personal injuries retain an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney.  There are some typical components, though, that you may expect when being deposed.  

In most situations, the individual being deposed (the deponent) will be sworn in by, and give testimony in front of, a court reporter.  The attorneys present will then ask the deponent a series of questions, both personal and relating directly to the claims at issue.  The deponent may be required to speak with one or more attorneys, and the deposition can last anywhere from a few minutes to many hours over the course of multiple days.   

Throughout the deposition, the attorneys present may object to the questions that are posed to the deponent.  Except in limited circumstances, the deponent may not refuse to answer the questions, even if an objection is made. 

After the deposition is complete, the court reporter will produce a transcript that the deponent is entitled (though, not required) to review.

The Experienced Ohio Trial Attorneys at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA can guide you through the personal injury deposition process.

This blog post gives only the most basic explanation of the deposition process.  If you believe you have a personal injury claim, you need the guidance of an experienced lawyer at all stages of your case.  Contact Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA today for a free consultation.

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