Aspects of a Personal Injury Claim – Depositions
Personal Injury Case Deposition – what to expect?
The discovery process in a personal injury lawsuit gives both attorneys the opportunity to understand the facts at issue. Part of this depends on documents; the police report, accident pictures, and other paper evidence will come in. But one of the most important pieces of the process is the deposition. If you are injured, the other side will want to depose you before trial. The process can be nerve-wracking, but it also gives you an opportunity to tell your story before you have to testify in court.
What Is a Deposition?
The deposition is essentially an interview that the other attorney conducts with you. He or she will meet with you, usually in your attorney’s offices, to sit and ask you questions about yourself and the case. The questions typically start with general information about you and then move to the specifics of the case. The attorney may ask broad or narrow questions, with the idea of understanding you and what your testimony will be at trial.
What You Need to Do
The most important thing to remember at a deposition is to tell the truth. You are testifying under oath, so anything you say will be treated as truth. And if you change your answer to any question between deposition and trial, the attorney will use it to suggest that you are not being truthful. Beyond this, keep your answers limited to what the attorney asks you. Remember that he or she is ultimately trying to get information to use against you at trial, so stay on point and stop after you have answered the question.
How to Prepare
A deposition may make you nervous. But if you take the time to practice and prepare with your lawyer, you will get through the experience. Practice waiting to respond so your attorney can make any objections he or she has, and review your notes from the accident. If you stay on track and prepare well, you have nothing to fear from the deposition experience.