If you have a personal injury lawsuit in progress, such as for a product liability or an accident case, you might be asked by the defendant's legal counsel to give a deposition. You will need to mentally prepare for this, so that you can help your case rather than hurt it.
Understanding the Reason for the Deposition
As part of your case, an attorney, like Law Office of Michael Braun, may be deposing some of the defendants or related individuals to gather information and evidence--especially if the case involves a lot of money. You are being asked for a deposition by the defense for similar reasons..
A face-to-face meeting can give the defendant's attorney a chance to see how you will react to questioning later in court. They may also discern defensiveness or doubts you may have in the strength of your claims.
Another aim they will have is to lock in facts and figures since there will be a written record--and possibly a video taping--when they question you This may be referred to in trial, especially if your testimony in court differs from the answers you give in the deposition.
.Preparing For It
To help your case, you should gather paperwork such as medical bills and go over them to get the facts and figures well in mind. You will need to consult with your doctor and other medical experts to get more information for the following items. You can expect to be asked about:
- The extent of your injuries.
- The medical treatment you are receiving.
- Your actions at the time of incident in question and the possibility that you were somehow at fault for your injuries.
- Your personal habits such as drug abuse or alcohol consumption that could be affecting your healing from the injuries.
- The impact of your condition on your daily activities.
- Your long-term prognosis, and the future medical treatments and procedures that will be needed.
- The projected expenses of your needed treatment.
- What you are doing to mitigate (lessen the extent of) your injuries and damages.
- Your education, skills, and the possibility of a different type of employment if you can no longer do your regular job.
- Whether you have been involved in other types of litigation.
It's also a good idea to consult with your attorney beforehand to discuss your answers. They can help you to frame your answers according to your attorney's strategy for winning the case. With adequate preparation, you will feel more confident, and less likely to be unnerved during the actual event.
Participating in the Deposition
On the day of the deposition, it would be wise to:
- Take only what has been requested into the conference room where the proceeding will take place, since anything you bring could spawn a new line of questioning.
- Be serious. Once you have taken an oath and the transcribing/taping begins, don't joke around because it can be taken literally later.
- Pause and give your attorney a chance to object to it, before proceeding to answer an inappropriate question.
- Know that you may be asked the same question in a number of ways. Don't let it frustrate you. Just give consistent answers to add to your credibility. If you honestly don't know the answer to a question, you should say so.
- Politely ask them to contact the writer of the information if you are asked about a report.
- Ask for clarification before answering. Otherwise, you might be agreeing with something that isn't true.
- Keep your answers short and to the point -- only one or two sentences at the most. If you elaborate unnecessarily, what you say might be used in a way that could hurt your case. Also, the attorney should be prepared with follow-up questions if more information is needed.
If you prepare well and get expert advice, you will be more confident and at ease. Be aware that depositions (along with other evidence) help establish some facts and save time at trial, so they can be advantageous for both sides.