If you’re pursuing a personal injury claim, a deposition will almost probably be required. This procedure (and your testimony) can have a significant impact on the result of your injury case, so you must understand what to anticipate and are well prepared.
What is Deposition?
A deposition is an oath-taking interview in which an attorney questions a party or witness. Depositions are a crucial aspect of the discovery process before a trial. A court reporter records the replies, and the information gathered aids both parties in preparing for a future settlement or trial. The answers given by a deponent during a deposition can be used to refute any later contradictory testimony given at trial.
The court reporter swears in the deponent at the start of the deposition. It’s vital to keep in mind that this oath to speak the truth is the same one that a witness takes during a trial. The testimony is recorded by the court reporter, who then prepares a transcript. Deposition testimony may be admissible in court in some cases.
Question and Answers during Deposition
A deposition is used to figure out what the deponent knew about the case and how he or she would testify at trial. The examining attorney starts by asking about the deponent’s name, residence, date of birth, work history, and whether or not he or she has ever testified before.
In a personal injury case, the plaintiff and defendant might anticipate being asked questions about:
- injuries in the past and present, as well as medical treatment
- financial situation
- the incident that led to the lawsuit
- who the deponent has talked with about the incident
- the deponent’s criminal history and driving record
The surviving attorneys in the room, including the deponent’s counsel, can interrogate the deponent once the examining attorney has finished questioning. Usually, these are follow-up inquiries or clarification requests.
It might take very less than 30 minutes or many hours to make a deposit. Depositions in major instances might last many days or weeks. During the case, a deponent may be summoned back for more questioning. It all relies on how extensive information the deponent is required to provide and how many lawyers will be asking him or her.
Tips for you Deposition
Make a positive first impression. Be well-dressed and groomed. One of the things the lawyer asking the questions wants to know is how pleasant or truthful you’ll look to a judge or jury.
Always act professionally. Realize that a deposition is structured around a series of questions and answers. This isn’t a light-hearted discussion. Avoid small conversations and jokes. These are frequently lost in the written transcript.
Please take your time. Before you begin to respond, listen to the entire question. It’s highly advisable to take a breather before responding. This provides you time to strategize your answer, as well as time for your attorney to file an objection if one is necessary.
If you need a break, even if it’s only for a few minutes, ask for one. Staying awake may be as simple as stretching your legs or taking a walk outside.