Personal-Injury Claims: 3 Ways a Deposition Can Help You Cross-Examine Witnesses
Generally speaking, approximately 95% to 96% of personal-injury claims are settled before trial; however, if your attorney can't come to a reasonable compromise with the other party, or if you are unhappy with the settlement offered, you can still take the case to trial. In these situations, witness testimony is crucial, and your personal-injury attorney will want to hold a deposition in order to cross-examine the witness before the trial. Here are three ways that a deposition can help you.
Figure Out the Type of Responses the Witnesses Are Going to Give
Understanding how the witnesses are going to respond can help you and your attorney determine how to craft the questions that are going to be asked. It'll also help you determine whether the strategies you are considering to use will be effective. The deposition gives you an idea as to the character of the witness and the type of information or testimony that they will provide. With this in mind, your attorney can determine which questions can benefit your case and which questions should be dropped at trial.
Use Answers Given in Deposition to Determine Inconsistencies in the Testimony
The answers that are given in the deposition can come back to haunt the witnesses. Your attorney will want to take careful note of the answers that the witnesses gave. If your attorney asks the same questions again at trial and gets a different answer, they should definitely point out the inconsistencies that the witness gave. This can discredit their testimony and make them seem unreliable.
Determine Whether Additional Evidence Is Needed
From the testimony given, your attorney might be able to determine whether there are any aspects of the case that they have yet to explore. They can determine whether any additional evidence is needed to either strengthen your case or disprove the facts given by the witness. For example, if a witness claimed to be at a certain location at a specific time, your attorney might want to follow up with these claims in order to determine whether the witness is trustworthy.
While your attorney will mostly take charge of the deposition, you should still play a passive role during this period. Understanding what the witnesses for the opposing party are going to say can help you determine which strategies can help you win your case. You'll also be able to give input as to how you'd like to see your case play out.