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San Diego Construction Accident: What Is a Deposition in a Lawsuit?

| Jun 7, 2014 | Firm News

Construction, or industrial, accidents happen far more frequently in California than most people realize. If you have been injured in a San Diego construction accident you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits; however, you may also be entitled to file as a plaintiff in a third party lawsuit. If so, you may be entitled to additional compensation not available through the workers’ compensation system. If you do pursue a third party construction lawsuit you may be required to attend a deposition. Your San Diego construction accident attorney will likely spend a considerable amount of time with you preparing you for the deposition; however, it helps to have a general idea what a deposition is ahead of time as well.

When an injured victim files a lawsuit asking for compensation the defendant will typically respond by denying liability for the accident and/or denying that the plaintiff (the injured victim) was injured. Ultimately, the lawsuit will be settled out of court or by a trial; however, a considerable amount of work will go into the lawsuit before reaching either of these conclusions. The majority of the pre-trial work in a construction lawsuit is done during the discovery stage. Discovery allows both sides of the lawsuit to “discover” information from the opposing side. This is accomplished through Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, and Depositions.

A deposition is essentially a question and answer session. The deposition is held outside of the courtroom with a court reporter who transcribes the entire deposition. The person being deposed must take an oath, just as would occur at trial, to tell the truth. As a general rule, all answers given in a deposition are admissible at trial. If you are being deposed, your attorney will be present as will the attorney for the defendant. The attorney for the defendant will ask you questions relevant to the lawsuit. Unless your attorney tells you otherwise, you must answer all the questions truthfully. If you do not know the answer it is okay to say you do not know the answer. The important thing to remember is that you are under oath and, therefore, subject to the penalties of perjury, during the deposition. Your attorney may also schedule depositions with the defendant, witnesses or experts that plan to testify at trial. The same question and answer procedure will be followed.

If you have specific questions about an upcoming deposition, be sure to consult with your San Diego construction accident attorney right away.