Posted in Personal Injury on March 9, 2021
If you or somebody you love has then injured due to the careless comment negligent, or intentional actions of someone else, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, there are times when insurance carriers and at fault parties put up significant roadblocks when it comes to securing this compensation. When working to secure fair compensation in a personal injury claim, it may be necessary to sit for a deposition. We understand that depositions can be confusing for many people, so we want to give a brief explanation of what a deposition is and how you can prepare for your personal injury claim.
Depositions are a valuable part of the “discovery” process of a personal injury lawsuit. This is the phase of the lawsuit where both sides exchange information and also have an opportunity to ask questions of any possible witnesses who may have pertinent information about the case. These questions are asked through depositions.
Depositions are scheduled to happen at a specific time, place, and date, and are agreed upon by all parties involved. No party in a personal injury case will be ambushed by a deposition, which means that they will have time to prepare for the deposition with their attorney. We do want to point out that if a person is given a notice to submit to a deposition, they will be required to participate, and they will be under oath when giving their deposition. This means that they are required to give truthful answers to the best of their ability, and anything said in a deposition will be recorded and could be used later in court.
There are various phases of the deposition process that you and your attorney will go through.
before a deposition takes place, your attorney will prepare you for the process. You will already know the pertinent facts related to the case (at least the facts as you know them). However, being questioned by the opposing attorney will be an entirely different matter. Your attorney will review all records prior to the deposition and go over them with you, and they will help you prepare for the questions you will be asked. Often, this includes setting up a “mock deposition” to mimic how a real one will flow.
We strongly recommend that any person giving a deposition try to get a goodnight’s sleep the night before, and that they come to the deposition dressed as if they were testifying in court. This is a time when the opposing counsel will be sizing up witnesses to determine how they will perform in court.
During a deposition, a series of questions will be asked by the opposite side’s attorney. First, it goes without saying that you need to have your attorney present when you are giving a deposition. Your attorney will be able to help you through any stressful questions. The opposing counsel will likely ask questions that get you mad or flustered, but it is best to avoid any displays of frustration.
Because everything a person says during a deposition will be under oath, it is best to only answer the question asked and not give any information that is not directly asked. Under no circumstances should the person tried to “guess” any answers they are not sure about. It is best who simply say that you do not know or you do not remember.
Deposition has concluded, the court reporter (who will be present at the deposition) will prepare a written transcript of the entire deposition. Copies will be sent to all parties involved, and the transcript will be reviewed by the attorneys for inconsistencies or mistakes. Your attorney will typically evaluate the deposition and give you an assessment and they will also discuss how your answers he’ll be used in any eventual trial.
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