Depositions in Truck Accident Cases

The Role of Depositions in West Virginia Trucking Crash Cases

When you’re involved in a truck accident, seeking justice and getting fair compensation can be an uphill battle. The trucking company is in no rush to claim responsibility, which means their insurance company is also in no rush to write you a settlement check. As your attorney prepares for court, they may use a number of tools to gather the evidence they need.

Depositions are an important part of the discovery process in any personal injury claim. Learn more now by calling Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234.

An Overview of the Deposition Process

A deposition is an out-of-court verbal testimony given by someone involved in a claim. These meetings are generally held in court conference rooms or law firm meeting rooms. Both parties’ attorneys have the opportunity to ask the witness questions. Depositions are generally recorded, and witnesses are sworn in and bound to tell the truth.

Attorneys prepare for depositions by reviewing the known facts of the case, facts and opinions still in dispute, and evidence that may conflict with other pieces of evidence.

During depositions, each side’s attorney asks the witness questions while they are under oath. Since depositions can establish important facts of a case, attorneys may ask a wide range of questions covering different aspects of the case.

Evidence Collection

Depositions are an important tool for collecting evidence for use in your truck accident claim. Whether the truck driver, the driver of the other vehicle, or a witness is being interviewed, what they say can add context to the case and allow either side to sharpen their case. Expert witnesses may also be brought in and deposed, and their insight can clarify murkier parts of the case. Since depositions are either recorded or transcribed, the information can be referenced whenever necessary.

A deposition can also help attorneys start to find holes in the other side’s claim. Consider, for example, if a witness states during their initial questioning that they saw the truck driver swerving a full mile before the crash happened. During deposition, their story changes and they claim that they saw you driving unsafely. This throws their credibility into question and helps your attorney poke holes in the other side’s claim.

Proof of Liability and Fault

The information gathered during depositions can also make it easier to prove liability. This is a key step in getting you the compensation you deserve. If depositions with eyewitnesses show that multiple people saw the truck driver swerve and lose control before jackknifing, it is much harder for the trucking company to deny liability. With multiple people confirming that the driver did not operate safely, the trucking company’s insurance provider may be forced to accept liability and negotiate accordingly.

Expert witness testimony provided in depositions can also help in this area. For example, an expert in black box data may be deposed and provide insight into what the truck’s black box data means. A pattern of slow deceleration and drifting, followed by sudden braking and swerving is a clear sign of driver fatigue and microsleeps. Not only does this help establish liability, it can prove exactly what went wrong.

How Depositions Affect Negotiations and Court

Depositions are part of the discovery process when both sides are preparing for court. However, if they uncover enough damaging evidence for one side, it’s common for negotiations to restart and result in a settlement. If your Charleston truck accident lawyer files a lawsuit and begins preparations, the trucking company may suddenly be able to offer more when depositions show that you have an open-and-shut case. Don’t be surprised if they are suddenly offering more and negotiating more earnestly.

If your case goes to court, the information gained during depositions and other forms of discovery can slowly and methodically build your case. Ideally, this evidence will convince the jury of the other party’s liability and result in fair compensation for you.

Start Your Claim with Bailey Javins & Carter

Ready to demand the compensation you deserve after a truck accident? It’s time to meet with Bailey Javins & Carter. Call our team at 800-497-0234 or connect with us online to schedule a consultation and discuss your case in greater detail.