Depositions are a crucial part of the discovery process. They allow attorneys to gather information about your case and prepare for trial. You will be asked questions under oath, and a court reporter will record your testimony. Being honest and sticking to the facts when answering these questions is essential.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is an oral examination of a party or witness conducted before trial that is recorded and taken under oath. It is part of the discovery process in personal injury cases and allows attorneys to ask questions about evidence or claims made in a lawsuit. Please read more here. A court reporter is present at the deposition to record what is said, and all parties to the case are allowed to question the witness under oath. Often, depositions are held in conference rooms at the attorney’s office. Still, they can also be held in hospitals, hotel conference rooms, and other locations, depending on the circumstances of the case. Depositions allow attorneys to get a preview of how their witnesses might perform on the stand at trial. For example, a defense attorney may study a plaintiff’s demeanor in her deposition to see whether she seems credible and honest or could be a persuasive advocate.
What Can I Expect to Be Asked in a Deposition?
Depositions are part of the discovery process, which involves parties sharing information about their cases. The opposing party’s attorney will likely request your deposition to learn more about how you sustained your injuries, what medical treatment you have undergone, and how your injuries affect your life. The deposition typically begins with the opposing lawyer asking you questions during direct examination. After you answer the question, you will be asked to respond to any objections made by your attorney. Afterward, the other attorney can cross-examine you about your answers. Several rounds of direct and cross-examination are often involved, with the attorneys also re-crossing you about previously asked questions. When you are being deposed, you must remain calm and truthful. Your answers will be used as evidence in the trial, so you can only afford to give accurate and accurate statements. If you need help responding to a question, tell the attorney you are unfamiliar with the subject matter and ask for clarification.
How Can I Prepare for a Deposition?
A defendant’s lawyer may try to sway your testimony in their favor by using leading questions and placing words in your mouth. They will also try to poke holes in your story by focusing on specific aspects and ignoring others. It is essential to remain calm during your deposition, especially since you will be questioned under oath. You should always answer truthfully and be prepared to testify about how your injuries affect your daily life. It is a good idea to bring a copy of all documents or photographs exhibited in your case to the deposition so that you can review them and be prepared to talk about their contents. You should avoid saying you “didn’t know” something, as this can be used against you later at trial. If you don’t understand a question, politely ask the examiner to clarify or rephrase it. Take breaks if you need to; a lengthy deposition can be exhausting.
How Can I Be Prepared for a Deposition?
Be sure to meet with your personal injury attorney before the deposition to review your case, refresh your memory about the accident, and discuss the strengths of your claim. It is also essential to be prepared for opposing counsel’s questions. They will likely try to accentuate your weak points, ridicule your story, or try to get you to admit things that are not true. During the deposition, it is essential to remain calm and professional. If you are uncomfortable with a question, say so. It is important to remember that all answers given are under oath and will be used in court should the case go to trial. Before answering questions, it is essential to read all exhibits, including photographs, carefully. Your lawyer will often present these to you before the deposition in a discovery meeting, and you have a right to review them. It would be best to ask for clarification on any questions you do not understand.