What is a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?
In the event that your personal injury case goes to trial, you will likely have to face a line of questioning prior to the trial called a “deposition.” Depositions are done so that the attorney of the opposing party, as well as the council, can learn more about you, and also so that your story will be set in stone. Depositions are done under oath, in front of a court reporter to ensure that facts remain consistent, and do not change throughout the trial.
The testimony you give during the deposition holds just as much weight for the success of your case as the actual trial itself. If your testimony is strong, it will greatly help your personal injury attorney in winning your case. This is why it’s so important to properly prepare for your personal injury deposition.
Preparing for a Personal Injury Deposition
The most important way to succeed in your deposition is to spend a great deal of time talking with your personal injury attorney. He/she will inform you of how to conduct yourself and exactly what to say.
Be polite with the questioning attorney – It’s your job to simply answer questions, not to be confrontational.
Take your time – After being asked a question, don’t think out loud. Just think to yourself, and when you’re ready to answer, proceed with a verbal response.
The less you say, the better – The attorney will try to use logic to get your deposition testimony to contradict with the story that is given in the trial. So, the less you say while still clearly answering the questions, will give them less of an opportunity to do this. If you can answer a question with a simple “yes” or a “no, ”do so.
Wait for the “okay” from your attorney – If your attorney objects to a question, do not answer that question until your attorney gives you the go-ahead.
Be honest if you don’t understand a question – Just say “I do not understand,” and the attorney will rephrase the question. In order for you to properly answer a question, it’s vital you understand exactly what’s being asked. Never guess!
Refrain from answering with head nods or “uh-huh’s” – A court reporter will be typing a transcript of everything you say, so you must give an adequate verbal response to the question using real words.
If you’ve been injured and think you might have a personal injury case on your hands, don’t hesitate to contact Bruce A. Hagen, a premier Atlanta personal injury attorney. The law office of Bruce Hagen can bring you a just settlement without ever having to step foot in a courtroom, but if the case does go to trial, we have the experience to bring you the justice you deserve.