You are involved in a car accident. You are hurt. You seek treatment for your injuries. You feel better. You think your worries are behind you. You are not left wondering what your claim is worth, because you figure it will all be taken care of.
Think again. Here are a few scenarios of what could happen, brought to you by Las Vegas car accident lawyer Brian M. Boyer:
- The insurance company denies your claim.
- You are not reimbursed for your out-of-pocket expenses.
- The insurance company does not cover your medical bills and the hospital is threatening you with collections notices.
- The insurance company is only offering to cover a percentage of your medical bills. This is especially troublesome if you are injured with no health insurance.
After a claimant has completed treatment, problems can arise if an insurance company denies liability or questions damages.
Liability will be denied when an insurance company does not believe that its insured is at-fault for the accident. For example, if you are hurt in an accident where you believe that the other driver ran a red light, liability will be disputed if the other driver claims that his or her light was green. In this scenario, the other driver’s insurance company will not assist you in fixing your car and any medical bills submitted to them will remain unpaid. Litigation will then become necessary in order to determine how your car will be fixed and how your bills will be paid – by the other driver or by you.
Litigation may also become necessary when an insurance company accepts that its driver is at-fault for an accident but questions the amount of money due and owed to you for your injuries. For example, if you are rear ended and treat for associated injuries, the other driver’s insurance company might refuse to pay some or all of your medical bills because it does not believe your injuries required treatment. In this scenario, the other driver’s insurance company will assist you in fixing your car but leave you liable for certain medical bills, ultimately leaving you with nothing in your pocket for your pain and aggravation. Litigation will become necessary in order to determine which medical bills are reasonable for the insurance company to pay and how much money will reasonably compensate you for your injuries.
If litigation becomes necessary, a lawsuit will be filed. Your attorney will be responsible for carrying out certain responsibilities and you will be required to participate in certain aspects of the litigation process. One such way you might be required to participate is through your deposition. When your deposition is taken, you will be asked questions in person and under oath. The questions and your corresponding answers will be taken down in writing and may be used as evidence throughout the remainder of the litigation process. Depositions are used to gather information about the facts surrounding the car accident, as well as gather personal information about you. As such, it is extremely important for the deposition to go well for the sake of your case. Below are several different ways you can assure your deposition yields the best result possible for your personal injury case:
Tell the truth
We all know that telling the truth is the right thing to do. In a deposition, it is also the only thing to do. You will be placed under oath at the beginning of your deposition. Even though your deposition might be taken in an informal setting, the oath carries the same weight that it would if you were testifying in court.
When your deposition is taken, the questions that are asked of you and the answers you provide will be transcribed into a document so that you and the other parties involved in the lawsuit can review them at a later time. This means that it is important to speak clearly during your deposition. You must provide vocal answers to questions. For example, if you nod or shake your head to provide an answer to a question, your answer cannot be written down. This makes things difficult when your written deposition transcript is reviewed. Similarly, it is important that you wait your turn to speak before answering a question. A deposition transcript can become extremely hard to read if you begin to answer a question before your deponent has a chance to finish asking it.
If you do not know, or do not remember, do NOT guess
Depositions generally do not occur until months after the original date of injury. This means that you might get asked questions about your accident that you used to be able to answer but no longer can remember. Whatever you do, do not guess. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it is perfectly appropriate to respond “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know.”
Answer ONLY the question that is asked
Listen to the question being asked of you and only answer the question that is asked. If you are asked a question that calls for a “yes” or “no” answer, please only respond with a “yes” or “no” response. Take time to process the question. If you do not understand what is asked of you, ask that the question be rephrased. Providing information that is not elicited can not only lengthen your deposition, but can prove to be detrimental to your case.
Your deposition is being taken to find out facts pertaining to the accident and to find out more about you. If you are defensive or evasive in any way, you are not going to appear to be a credible witness. The insurance company will be less likely to settle your claim with you prior to an arbitration hearing or trial if it believes that you are not going to appear credible in front of a judge or jury. The individual asking you questions might seem argumentative at times, but remain calm. Similarly, it might be uncomfortable to answer some of the questions asked of you. Again, remain calm. The deposition will be over before you know it.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Las Vegas, do not wait. Contact a personal injury attorney IMMEDIATELY. Contact The Injury Firm Las Vegas. (702) 800-0988