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What to Expect During a Deposition in a Dog Bite Case

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You may own a dog or know somebody who does.
In the event that dog bites you, a member of your family, or another party, you may be called to bear testimony in a lawsuit.
The suit may or may not go to trial, for the parties involved may come to an agreement that prevents a court date.
If you are merely a witness to the incident, however, you could be called upon to give a deposition, and it's important to know what to expect.
A deposition is the process by which a witness-either in a civil or criminal suit-gives this testimony.
Depositions may have bearing on whether or not the injured party pursue a trial, for they can determine if there is enough evidence to bring the dog's owner to court.
A deposition may also help expedite progress and lead to a settlement or dismissal.
This largely depends on what information you provide.
When you are called to a deposition, you are likely to meet in the office of the attorney handling the case.
It's important to dress professionally and answer all questions honestly, for your words will be recorded by a court reporter.
If you have never before sat for a deposition, you may feel worried and intimidated.
It's important to know you are not the one on trial if you are only a witness.
You will be asked a number of questions relevant to the case and possibly questions that help shape the character of people involved in the incident.
Some questions may constructed around various topics, including:
  • The nature of your relationship with the dog and owner - are you a friend or relative of the dog's owner? Do you live in the same house or apartment building? Do you come into contact with either or both on a daily basis?
  • Your personal experience with the dog - have you known the dog to act aggressively toward strangers and people it knows? Are you aware of any history of violence involving the dog? Do you have experience with dogs of a similar breed? Are you aware of the dog's freedom to move around; in other words, is the dog sufficiently fenced in or leashed?
  • Your account of the actual attack? What precipitated the dog to bite? How did the victim behave? Were there other witnesses, and what did the dog's owner do afterward? How was the dog acting before the attack?
Once the deposition is over, you may be called for further testimony, but this will largely depend on the case and what happens after you have been interviewed.
When you provide the needed information professionally and in detail, you can help bring a dog bite case to resolution.
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