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Will You Have to Take the Witness Stand in a Car Accident Case?
Bearing all the pain, injuries, and damage sustained in a car accident can be tough. If you have never been involved in an auto insurance claim, the process of obtaining financial compensation can be confusing and complicated.
You might be wondering: will I have to take the witness stand if I file a car accident claim?
Generally speaking, the path you will take toward seeking financial compensation for your injuries in a motor vehicle collision will decide whether you need to take the witness stand in your case.
Also, the path you take will depend upon the material facts of your case and the legal options that may give you the best chance of obtaining the full compensation you deserve.
Oftentimes your claim against an insurance company may proceed to a car accident lawsuit.
You will not have to take the witness stand in a courtroom unless your car accident case moves to trial. However, if your lawsuit proceeds into discovery then there is a likelihood you will need to take a deposition. This is where your car accident lawyer comes in to prepare you so you perform at your best.
CAR INSURANCE CLAIMS DO NOT REQUIRE COURTROOM WITNESS
Most car accident cases in Las Vegas, Nevada, and elsewhere in the United States may begin when an injured party files an auto insurance claim. If another driver was responsible for the crash that caused your injuries then you could seek compensation from their insurance. This would be a third-party accident claim that would require filing a claim through the guilty driver’s auto insurance company.
If your insurance policy could provide you relief through a first-party action, you would also file a car insurance claim through your own auto insurance company (even if the other driver is at fault or uninsured).
You should address your related insurance questions with your Las Vegas car accident lawyer before filing a claim.
In either scenario, you are not obligated to go to court or take the witness stand to testify about the accident. To be clear, in the auto insurance claims process, there is no adversarial procedure that functions like a courtroom. Witnesses do not formally testify in a courtroom regarding the car accident or any aspects of the claim. However, you should know that you may be requested to give a voluntary recorded statement (or more than one statement) to an auto insurance company.
Other than to provide notice that a car accident occurred to your own auto insurance, we do not recommend you ever do this outside the presence and protection of an experienced car accident lawyer.
The insurance company may and will be able to use your narrative against you to refuse coverage for your damages, except to they will not warn you ahead of time. After all, you are not under arrest and they do not need to read your Miranda rights.
Your car accident attorney can help advise you or completely decline to make any recorded statements. A car accident lawyer will need to make sure you do not make any remarks that could be interpreted by the insurance company as an admission of fault.
Witness Testimony and Depositions After You Have Filed an Auto Accident Lawsuit in Nevada
When a victim is unable to get fair and just compensation for their injuries and other damages through the car insurance claim process, the next step is usually to file a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault party (or parties, in some cases).
Once you file a car insurance lawsuit, you have a possibility of going to a trial. You could be required to provide witness testimony on the stand at that point. However, you should know that many car accident lawsuits do not go to trial. Oftentimes, your car accident attorney may negotiate a full and fair settlement with the defense attorney to get you the compensation you need beforehand and to help you avoid the costs, time, and potential of an appeal that is involved with taking a case to trial.
Michael Hua Injury Law prepares every case as if it is going to trial and is not scared of taking your case to trial.
During the discovery portion of your lawsuit, parties may be required to take depositions where you may be obligated to answer questions, under oath and penalty of perjury, from the defendant’s lawyer.
The Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure govern depositions by oral examination in the state, which means that there are particular rules in place that outline how the deposition process works. These rules are also more elaborated through case law.
Depositions can feel similar to providing witness testimony in court since you can be asked to answer questions, you may be filmed, and are placed under oath. It is a little different from a trial because there will not be a factfinder.
Your Las Vegas car accident attorney will guide you through this process and make sure you are as prepared as possible. Sometimes though, your case may not reach this stage and you may reach a settlement.
Car Accident Lawsuits May Require Witness Testimony, but Your Case Might Not Need to Go to Trial
If your case does go to trial, you could be asked to take the witness stand to provide witness testimony about the car collision. A plaintiff’s testimony will not be the only evidence required at trial. Often, a car accident attorney in Las Vegas can provide proof—such as police reports or witness testimony from experts such as an accident reconstruction expert—to prove that the defendant was accountable for the accident and should be responsible for your injuries. A car accident lawyer will also produce evidence of your injuries, such as medical records and before-and-after witnesses.
If you need to take the witness stand, your car attorney will make sure you are fully prepared and fully aware of the relevant evidence that will be presented for your case.
Your Las Vegas car accident attorney will also discuss with you the likelihood of whether you need to take the witness stand. Regardless, your car accident attorney will likely rely on many various forms of evidence, including testimony from other parties.
IS IT ESSENTIAL TO HIRE A LAS VEGAS CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
Thousands of accidents happen every year in the United States. But when you or someone you love gets hurt in an accident, it gets personal. No doubt accidents may turn your life upside down. It is essential to hire a Las Vegas car accident attorney who invests their time in helping their clients and make sure the other side is playing by the rules to achieve full justice.
You might be missing your work, suffering pain, dealing with expensive medical bills. An experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney may assist you to reduce your medical bills (or in some cases waive them) and obtain full justice and compensation for all types of harms and losses.
Some Common Examples of Personal Injury Claims:
- Uber/Lyft/Rideshare accidents
- Car accidents
- Drunk Driver accidents
- Truck accidents
- Dog Bites
- Slip and Falls
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Wrongful death
Statute of Limitations in Nevada
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, you should speak to a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas as soon as possible. The sooner you talk to a personal injury lawyer, the sooner you may discuss your legal options and begin building your case for full justice and compensation.
In Nevada, the statute of limitations for accident victims is two-years. It implies that injury victims have a time-limit of two-years to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party or waive that right. If you wait any longer than two years, your claim will be rejected and you will receive no compensation for your damages.
The other side is already gathering their team of experts, so should you.
Contact the best personal injury lawyer for you
Michael Hua Injury Law passionately fights for each and every client to obtain full justice and compensation. Contact us for a free evaluation and we will deep dive into the facts and circumstances of your case to help you best.
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