Personal injury victims who seek compensation for their injuries may need to testify under oath. They do not need to testify in all cases, but they do in some. Often, a personal injury case settles before any court action is filed. In that case, the victim usually does not need to testify.
However, sometimes a case does not settle. (Generally, because the insurance company for the party responsible for the accident refuses to pay fair compensation to the victim.) In such a case, the injury victim‘s personal injury lawyer must file a lawsuit. When the lawyer files a personal injury lawsuit, the accident victim likely will have to testify at least once. In a few cases, he or she will have to testify twice.
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Personal Injury Victims Testimony Timing
Typically, the first time that the victim will have to testify will be at a “deposition.’’ A deposition is simply testimony under oath given outside of court. It usually takes place in an attorney’s office. In short, the defense lawyer will question the accident victim under oath. A stenographer will be present to transcribe the testimony.
The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits settle prior to trial. However, if the insurance company still does not offer the accident victim a fair settlement, even after a deposition is taken, it becomes necessary to try the case. At trial, the victim’s personal injury lawyer will call the victim to the witness stand to testify.
In both cases, deposition testimony and trial testimony, how personal injury victims testify can often make the difference between winning and losing a case.
In my next post, I will discuss how personal injury victims should testify. Hint: The main thing is to always tell the truth. Not only is telling the truth the right thing to do, but it is also the most effective way to win your personal injury case.