Question: What do I do if my Case Proceeds to Trial?
St. George Attorney answer:
Once litigation begins, your attorney will inform you about your responsibilities in the process. Most likely, you will need to respond to interrogatories and you may even need to attend a deposition. Throughout the lawsuit process, be sure to:
- Keep in close contact with your attorney.
- Make sure your attorney is always informed of any changes of address, phone number, employment status, or marital status. Also let your lawyer know about any changes in your injury.
- Respond to any requests from your attorney for information or documents immediately.
- Keep record of all medical bills and lost wages.
- Don’t be involved in any criminal activity that could be used against you in court during your trial.
- Stay employed at and maintain a good relationship with your employer.
How much more work is it for my lawyer if we have to go to trial? Should I pay more for that?
Sometimes your contingency fee agreement will allow for additional fees if your case goes to litigation. Your lawyer will inform you about these costs upfront before your case is accepted. A lawsuit is a drawn-out and tedious process, during which your attorney will need to take many steps, including preparing court documents, participate in depositions, research applicable law, communicated with the defense attorney, and communicate with all other involved parties. As your case documentation and evidence grows, other people at your St. George law firm will help in working on your case. There will be labor from paralegals, associates, and secretaries.
What if I don’t want to comply with the discovery process?
You and your attorney may be asked to respond to a number of interrogatories from the defendant’s attorney. There will most likely be 30 or more, each with various sub-questions. Your lawyer will answer some of the interrogatories, and you will answer some of them yourself.
These interrogatories will generally be in relation to your medical history in detail, your employment history, and of course your injuries and the incident that caused them. You will need to be careful to answer all of the questions truthfully and completely. If anything is missing or inaccurate, the mistake could be used against you in court. You must also be sure to answer all interrogatories on time as specified by your attorney.
The interrogatories are very in-depth, and can be tedious for clients to complete. Many clients put them off, and don’t leave enough time to answer them with the care and detail that is necessary. Be sure to allow time to respond to your interrogatory requests thoughtfully and accurately, so that you can have a favorable outcome to your case at trial.
Are depositions scary?
A deposition takes place in one of the attorney’s offices that is involved in the case. It is the first occasion during which you will testify about your claim and your injuries. The defendant’s attorney will interview you about the incident, about your injuries, and general information about you and your history. All questions and answers will be recorded by a court reporter that will be present for the purpose of transcribing your testimony. The transcript will be shared with all involved attorneys and the insurance company. Portions of it may be read at the lawsuit trial.
What if I don’t want to have my deposition taken?
In this situation, you unfortunately don’t have a choice in the matter. Once a lawsuit has begun, you must follow the legal steps to cooperate with the defendant’s side.
What about the guy that hit me? Can we depose him as well?
Your attorney will make the decision about whether it is necessary to depose the defendant. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to not have a deposition with the defendant. Your Southern Utah attorney will use his or her expertise to decide what is best for you case.