Preparing for a Deposition in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit
A deposition can make or break a case, so it’s vital to be prepared. In a deposition, you will be asked questions about your injury and accident by the other party’s attorney, and you will need to answer honestly and strategically.
Depositions can be the key to many civil suits. If you’ve filed a personal injury lawsuit, be sure to ask your attorney if you should expect to be deposed.
If you have been injured or are involved in a personal injury claim after a car accident or other incident, contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. Attorney David I. Fuchs will fully prepare you for a deposition and be by your side the entire time. Use our online contact form today!
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is an oral, recorded interview of a witness, called the deponent, usually conducted in the discovery phase before a trial. In a personal injury case, the deposition is usually requested by the other party’s attorney. They may depose you, or other key witnesses.
A deposition is often used in place of or to support traditional testimony. If you are called for a deposition, your attendance is mandatory, but you may have your attorney with you to help you.
How to Prepare for a Deposition
If you’ve been called for a deposition, preparation is key. The other attorney will likely ask you detailed questions about your accident, your health, and your recovery since the accident. Refresh your memory on important facts and dates and don’t hesitate to ask your attorney if you are unsure about certain details.
When preparing, your attorney will be one of your best sources of support. Depositions are recorded, so your exact phrasing may be important. Your personal injury lawyer can help you anticipate what questions might be asked and explain how to frame your answers to be honest and to support your case.
While you prepare for your deposition, discuss the larger picture of your case. If you know the foundation of your case, you’ll feel more confident answering questions. You may also be able to discuss with your attorney what topics may cause you distress and discuss how to handle these questions.
Accident cases can be traumatic, making depositions emotional experiences. Wrongful death cases in particular can be hard on the deponent. By talking with your attorney, you can anticipate painful questions ahead of time.
What to Expect at a Deposition
Television dramas and reality TV often present depositions as frightening and stressful, akin to cross examination. However, a deposition will rarely be this confrontational. A deposition usually takes place in an office or conference room with the respondent’s legal team, your own attorney, and possibly a stenographer.
Think of a deposition like an interview. You need to be completely honest, as depositions are held under oath, but the questioning attorney will likely be professional, even friendly. The goal in a deposition is to make record of your experience, not to fluster you, frighten you, or make you shut down.
At a deposition, your attorney will be there to help you protect you if the other attorney’s behavior crosses a line. If you do not yet have a lawyer, a looming deposition is a good reason to reach out to a professional.
Tips for a Successful Deposition
A deposition may not take place in a courtroom, but there are still expectations for your behavior and conduct.
- Be professional: Be on time, dress in business casual, clean clothes, and be polite but formal in conversations. During the deposition, speak clearly, without rushing or using foul language.
- Ask questions: If you don’t understand what something means, ask your attorney for a clarification. It’s better to ask something you think you know the answer to than to say something incorrect or false.
- Stay calm: The other attorney may ask you difficult questions, but it’s important not to get angry or let out your frustrations during the deposition. It’s all right to ask for a drink of water or for a moment to collect yourself if you feel your emotions building up.
- Be honest: Don’t lie, exaggerate, or stretch the truth in your deposition. Preparation is key to being honest and concise. Long winding tangents or explanations can cause trouble for you later on. Respond clearly and simply to only the questions you are asked.
A deposition doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’ve been called to give a deposition, talk to your attorney to develop an action and preparation plan.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Attorney, P.A. is a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney with over 30 years of experience. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can help you build a case for financial compensation. Don’t wait for evidence to disappear. Contact our firm today to get started on your case.
You shouldn’t have to pay the price of someone else’s negligence. Reach out to us online today to schedule your free consultation.