How to Prepare for a Deposition After An Accident
Learn all about depositions, the deposition process, and how to prepare to give a great deposition that can help your case and also win it.
Lights. Camera. Deposition. Doesn’t quite have that Hollywood ring to it, but make no mistake, the deposition is a big part of your case and one in which you get to play the leading role.
What is a deposition?
It’s a question and answer session under oath where each side’s attorney gets to ask questions of the other party as well as other witnesses to get more information about the case. Depositions allow each side to get prepared for trial, so they know what people will say and how they will testify. Most depositions take a few hours and you’re allowed to take breaks or talk to your attorney as necessary.
Where is a deposition held?
Depositions are typically held in a conference room in either your lawyer’s office or the defense lawyer’s office.
Who attends depositions?
Depositions are attended by both side’s lawyers, the deponent (the person answering the questions, which can include you, the defendant, witnesses, doctors, and others) and a court reporter, who administers the oath and types down everything said during the deposition, and if applicable a language interpreter.
What kinds of questions are usually asked in a deposition?
A deposition almost always begins with the attorney going over the ground rules of the deposition, known as the admonitions. The next phase consists of background questions, so they can get an idea of who you are as a person and what your life was like before the accident or incident. After this, they will move on to questions about your accident or incident; the before, during, and after. Next, they will focus on the aftermath of your accident, including your injuries (physical, psychological, emotional), loss of income, impact on the quality of your life, and other consequences of your accident or incident on your life, family, and job. The deposition then wraps up with a few more ground rules to follow after the deposition.
How do you answer deposition questions?
Answering questions is easy if you follow three basic rules:
- Listen to the entire question and make sure you understand it;
- Think about the question and your answer; and
- Answer the question truthfully in as few words as possible
How does a deposition impact your settlement amount?
If your deposition goes well and you impress upon the defense attorney that a jury will like you, empathize with you, and feel your pain and struggle, then they will fear going to trial and offer more money to settle your case. Moreover, if the defense attorney likes you, they will often go to bat for you to meet your settlement demand.
What are some tips to know about your deposition?
- Prepare with your deposition injury lawyer prior to your deposition
- Wear business casual, comfortable clothes
- Be friendly and courteous, but keep your guard up
- Get a good night’s rest, eat a good meal, and show up early
- Tell the truth
- It’s okay to ask questions or ask for clarification
- It’s okay to take breaks and talk to your attorney
- Focus on one question at a time
- Relax and be yourself
Depositions are a vital part of any personal injury case and it’s critical that you listen to your depo accident lawyer when it comes to the rules and the dos and don’ts of your deposition. Below is a thorough deposition video just for you:
If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident, our award-winning trial lawyers stand at the ready to enforce your rights, look after every detail of your case, and maximize your recovery. Call us now for a no-charge case evaluation at 800-818-1818. If you don’t recovery, you don’t pay!