Preparing To Be The Best Witness Possible At Your Deposition
If your personal injury case is filed in court, there is a chance that at some point the other side will want to take your deposition. This may frighten you, but rest assured, the fear is only because you may be unfamiliar with the process—actually having your deposition taken is a relatively easy and straightforward process.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is simply where the defendant in your case, through its attorney, asks you, in person, questions about your background, your history, your accident, your injuries, and the damages that you allege have been caused to you because of the accident.
In most cases, at the deposition it is just you, the defendant and your lawyers, as well as a court reporter. The court reporter will transcribe your answers, which will be given under oath. Usually, there is no judge present. Most all depositions are done simply in a room, which can be in a courthouse, but may not be.
The deposition is important because the other side (or its insurance company) will be evaluating your answers, to see how strong your case is, and how strong of a witness that you would be, if your case went all the way to a trial.
Doing Well at Deposition
There are rarely right or wrong answers to give in a deposition, so long as you just tell the truth. That said, there are some tips that can help you have a more successful deposition, and one that convinces the other side that they do not want you to testify in a trial against them.
Don’t Guess – Most people who get caught in trial “lying” on the witness stand aren’t really lying. They just guessed, estimated, or answered a question in deposition that they didn’t really know the answer to, and now in trial they’re guessing again, but giving a different answer.
The deposition isn’t a quiz; there are usually no points off for not knowing an answer and saying you don’t know or don’t remember as an answer.
Don’t be Hostile – The other attorney will normally be cordial with you, and perhaps even friendly. Don’t you lose your cool. Stay composed, so the other side knows they won’t be able to “break” you in a trial.
Explain Your Pain – Many people want to be tough, and they don’t want to complain. Certainly, you don’t want to seem like someone who complains over small or trivial things. But don’t make the mistake of minimizing your pain, your disabilities, or the way the accident has affected your life.
Know Your Stuff – Yes, you don’t need to know the answer to every question asked of you. But you should know some basic facts about your accident, your expenses, your doctors and your injuries. If you don’t know or remember everything, your injury lawyer should have a review session for you, before your deposition, to allow you to prepare.
We can help you prepare and be ready for every stage in your personal injury case. Call the Boston personal injury lawyers today at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. at 617-275-4200 to have a lawyer by your side during the difficult times after your accident.