How To Prepare For Your Personal Injury Deposition?
So your attorney has sued the person who caused you harm. You expect that the defendant will automatically realize the error of his/her ways and pay you money. A few months after the case is placed in suit, your attorney calls you and tells you that you are going to have a deposition. You have questions… What is a deposition? What does it mean? What kind of questions will they ask me? Why is the defense lawyer doing this?
First, a deposition is an examination under oath. It’s a chance for the defense lawyer to ask you questions about your accident and injuries. It’s also a way for the defense lawyer to learn about your prior accidents, underlying illnesses, prior injuries, or anything that can help the defendant with their case.
During the deposition, it’s important for you to remember the following: a deposition is an opportunity for the defense lawyer to learn your version of the events and explore the strengths and weaknesses of your case. The defense lawyer will likely ask you many questions about your background, the accident and the injuries that you suffered. IT IS IMPORTANT TO ONLY ANSWER THE QUESTIONS YOU ARE ASKED. Many times the defense lawyer might lead you to believe that the deposition is an informal interview, and may try to get you to say things that could harm your case. By volunteering information, you also invite further questions that prolong the deposiiton and increase the likelihood that unnecessary, and potentially harmful information will be shared.
Your answers to questions during a deposition must be short and to the point. Too much explanation can harm your case and make you look foolish.
It’s also important to be honest. If you are dishonest during a deposition, the defendant can potentially use it against you during a trial. This can be devastating and the jury can find you to be a liar, and punish you by ruling in favor of the defendant, or giving you a lower amount of money for your injuries.
Lastly, it’s important to follow your attorney’s instructions. Your attorney will prepare you for the deposition. Pay attention to the attorney’s advice–they have your best interest in mind.