When you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to be prepared to provide a deposition. The deposition is you simply providing your account of the accident under oath to be used to determine fault. There are some very simple, yet important rules you need to be aware of when providing your deposition:
It goes without saying that you should be truthful when you are providing your deposition. You are under oath in a court of law. The goal of the other attorney is to poke holes in your story. Don't provide that opportunity and instead always tell the truth when detailing what happened.
Carefully Listen to Questions
Take a moment to listen and absorb the questions that are asked of you before you give an answer. Do not elaborate on your answers. You should only answer the question you are asked without providing any additional information. Less is more in most cases.
Also, do not let the attorney place words in your mouth. Many attorneys try to use a trick that only requires an answer of yes, then sneaking in a question that could be considered damaging. Your brain will be used to answering yes that you may automatically answer in a way that you had not meant to.
Only Answer What You Know
When you are asked a question and you do not know the answer, simply state that you do not know. Never guess to get an answer. This can only cause problems. Dates are the toughest in this regard. If you cannot remember a specific date you visited a doctor, for instance, do not guess. Just tell the attorney you have to consult your notes.
You Are Not Telling Your Entire Story
Your deposition is not the time to detail your story. You are only answering questions that are being asked of you. Never volunteer an answer and do not elaborate on your details. Not only will this provide more information than is needed, it will also cause the deposition to last too long.
Ask When You Don't Understand
If you are asked a question you do not understand, ask for clarification. It is better to ask for further explanation instead of not fully understanding and providing a wrong answer.
Dealing with a deposition during a personal injury lawsuit can be an unnerving process. Try to remain calm as you can and be very thoughtful with your answers. Contact a law firm, like Walsh Fewkes Sterba, for more help.