When New York motorists choose to disregard the rules of the road, that puts others at risk. An innocent motorist who is seriously hurt because of this sort of needless risk taking can ask to be restored for what was taken away from them. That is a claim for pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering can take many forms but it is always consequential, interfering with one’s ability to enjoy life to the fullest. Family walks, once commonplace, may now be strenuous and taxing. Lifting young children or grandchildren may seem untenable. Even reading a book: unbearable.
An experienced New York motor vehicle crash attorney can navigate the often-complex process of establishing that someone has sustained a serious injury that warrants compensation for pain and suffering and achieving that maximum compensation. This goal is always the same, but the way in which that goal is attained can vary considerably depending on the circumstances.
Some people think that all car crash cases go to court or require commencement of a formal lawsuit, but that is not the case. Sometimes the insurance company realizes early on that the insured is liable and makes a pre-lawsuit offer of settlement that fairly and adequately compensates for pain and suffering and other damages. Insurance companies have that obligation: to indemnify the insured (who paid insurance premiums for insurance coverage) and paying for damage caused.
Other times, however, the insurance company fails to properly assess an insurance claim or otherwise chooses not to pay out on a valid claim, requiring a formal lawsuit. This is often called litigation.
The litigation process can vary significantly depending on an array of factors, including the attorneys, the venue, and even the judge assigned. No two cases will ever follow the same exact path, but one commonality across all cases is the discovery process.
In New York state court this is also called “disclosure,” a stage of litigation which gives the parties an opportunity to gain information about the different allegations and defenses. An important component of discovery is the deposition, also known in New York State court as an “examination before trial.” At a deposition, the attorneys will ask the witness questions under oath. The witness can include the parties to the lawsuit and other “non-parties” who may know information relevant to the lawsuit.
Questions usually probe the witness’s background relating to education, employment, and locations of residence, and other information relating more directly to the facts of the case.
For example, in a New York car accident deposition, the person asserting a claim for pain and suffering can generally expect to answer questions relating to any prior related injuries, how the crash happened, how injuries alleged to have been caused in the crash have affected activities of daily living, among other things.
Below are some questions one might expect to encounter at a New York car accident deposition (these are just hypothetical examples):
It is natural to ask: how long does a car accident deposition take? There is no one-size-fits all answer here as the duration can vary considerably, from a half hour to several hours. Fortunately, New York courts have recently put a time limit of 7 hours on any single deposition, though very few depositions actually go that distance.
An experienced New York attorney always retains the right to ask the assigned judge for a protective order should the attorney determine that deposition questioning is improper or harassing.
If you were injured in a New York car accident and would like to make a claim for pain and suffering, the attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. would be happy to discuss the process and what you can expect given your unique circumstances. Not all car crash cases require depositions but should yours require one we will be right at your side.