3 Tips To Get You Through A Personal Injury Deposition
If you are not able to quickly settle your case, there is a good chance that you are going to have to give a deposition. A deposition is where you answer questions that the other party has about your case while you are under oath. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your deposition in a personal injury case.
Always Tell The Truth
It may seem obvious, but make sure that you always tell the truth. Before you start your deposition, you will have to take an oath to tell the truth. If you lie while under oath during your deposition, and opposing counsel discovers that you were untruthful, your case could be in hot water. It may even get thrown out.
If you are asked a question that you don't know the answer to, it is best to just say, "I don't know the answer" or "I can't remember"; don't make a guess. If your guess is wrong, that could be seen as lying under oath.
Wait For The Lawyer To Finish Talking
In normal conversation, it is natural to talk over one another when you really get into a conversation. However, this kind of behavior will not fly when you are giving your deposition.
To begin with, a court reporter will be present to create a transcript of your deposition. The court reporter can only write down what one person is saying at a time; if you talk over or cut off the lawyer who is questioning you, the court reporter will not be able to keep track of what is being said and the transcript from your deposition will be considered incomplete.
Next, just because you think you know where the lawyer who is questioning you is heading, you don't know for sure. If you cut off the lawyer who is questioning you, you risk giving away more information than they were going to give you in the first place.
Additionally, you don't want to cut off the lawyer who is questioning you because you limit your lawyer's ability to protect you. Your lawyer may object to the question being asked, and you may not have to answer it at all. However, if you cut off the individual questioning you, you'll rob your lawyer of this chance.
Just Answer The Questions
Finally, remember when the opposing counsel calls you in for a deposition, your job is to just answer the questions that they present you with. A deposition is supposed to help both sides learn information about the case at hand; it is not where the case is settled or made.
Your job during this deposition is not to tell your side of the story or make your case; you will have an opportunity to make your case if or when you go to trial. Don't give away your upper hand by oversharing; stick to truthfully answering the questions at hand.
If you are called to give a deposition by the opposing counsel, make sure that you are truthful, patient and direct. If you are nervous about the process, see if a lawyer like Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates LLC can help you prepare by doing a practice deposition so you can get a better understanding of the situation.