The most important action that you will take in your Indiana personal injury lawsuit is by far your deposition. At some point in time, the insurance company lawyer will set you for deposition. A deposition is a question and answer session taken under oath.
After the deposition the lawyer, who is the eyes and ears of the insurance company, will write a report to the insurance adjuster outlining your testimony, summarizing your presentation as a witness, and whether a jury will believe your story.
When I was an insurance defense lawyer, I used the deposition for three purposes:
Good or Bad Witness
The first purpose of the deposition was to see if a jury is going to like and believe the injured person. If the witness had a good command of the facts, was forthcoming, and came off believable, I would tell the insurance company that a jury will probably believe their story. On the other hand, if the witness was nasty, did not remember the facts of the event or their past. I would tell the insurance company that a jury probably will not like the witness and will not buy their story.
Pin down the facts of the event
The second purpose of the deposition was to pin down under oath the facts of the event. The testimony may be used to file some type of motion with the court or to impeach the injured person if her story of the events is inconsistent with the physical evidence or other witnesses testimony.
Pin down the injured person's injuries and past medical history
The third purpose of the deposition is to pin down the injured person's past medical history, nature and extent of her current injuries, and the way the injuries impact her life. Again, if the deposition testimony contradicted what is the in the injured person's medical records then I would be able to impeach her credibility at trial.
In personal injury cases, the injured person's credibility is the most important thing and driver of value, so the more inconsistencies an insurance defense lawyer can pin down in your testimony, the greater chance a jury will find that you are not credible and hold it against you.
So to recap, your deposition is the the most important action that you will take in your personal injury case so you need to take it seriously because the defense lawyer will report to the insurance company if a jury will or will not buy your story.
If you have any questions about the deposition process, please do not hesitate to give me a call (219) 874-4878.