Now that you have filed a personal injury case there are several steps that take place before your settlement and one of those steps involves the deposition. Your attorney will explain everything you need to know about the deposition and will be there with you when it takes place. It helps to prepare for a deposition to ease the stress of the process.
A deposition is a question and answer session with the other side’s attorney about your injury. The attorney for the other side will ask you several questions about yourself and the facts of the injury. It is important to remember that how you answer will be recorded by a court reporter for the record. You may also be video recorded in the event your case may go to trial. Everything you say will be used as evidence when the other side’s attorney defends the case. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for your deposition.
- Remain Courteous and Respectful
Do not display anger or hostility as it will reflect in a negative way for your case. Remain calm and answer politely all questions asked of you. Your attorney will intercede on your behalf if their attorney steps out of line and upsets you.
- If You do not Understand a Question; Ask for Clarification
It can be confusing to go through questioning and sometimes they will ask a question that just doesn’t seem to make sense. Do not hesitate to say “I don’t understand the question” This forces the attorney for the other side to ask the question in a different way which helps to give you a chance to answer correctly.
- Pause Before Answering a Question
It may come naturally to answer a question without hesitation but when answering deposition questions it is important to take your time and think about what you are going to say. Taking a moment to collect your thoughts and think about your words will keep you from saying something that could be taken the wrong way or used against you in the defense.
- Don’t Give Too Long of an Answer
Resist the urge to give too long of an explanation of your answer. Keep your answer short and only in relation to the question. You may feel like you want to explain further what or why you are answering a certain way, but it may be that you are introducing a new angle to question you about.
- Do Not Answer Yes or No to a ‘Yes or No’ Question
When you are asked a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ question it is better not to commit to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for your answer. When the answer is yes use a sentence starting with ‘as I recall’. When the answer is no use a sentence starting with ‘I don’t recall’. Answering in this way will keep you from being locked into a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when the other side’s attorney challenges your answer.
Knowing what to expect and preparing for your deposition will help to ease the stress of the process. Your attorney will be with you and help you through all of it. If you answer questions with an honest and simple approach your deposition will go well.