There are many steps involved in filing a lawsuit and going to trial, including going through a deposition. If either side requests a deposition of someone involved in the case, they are required to attend. The answers provided can have a significant effect on the outcome of the claim.
Anderson & Cummings discusses depositions and what you should expect if you are asked to attend a deposition, along with tips on what to say and what not to say to preserve the value of your claim.
If you need assistance preparing for your deposition, contact a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer at the law offices of Anderson & Cummings to set up a free consultation. We charge you no fees to discuss your claim and we only get paid if you do.
What is the Purpose of a Deposition?
A deposition is part of the discovery process in a personal injury case when a lawyer from either side conducts an in-person interview with one of the parties involved. The interview is given under oath in the presence of a court reporter who is responsible for recording the interview by typing a written transcript, which can be used later in court. However, depositions are not usually conducted in a courtroom. They usually take place at a lawyer’s office or some other designated location.
A deposition is usually requested after a lawsuit is filed so the lawyer can get answers to questions he or she may have about the case. This could help both sides avoid a lengthy trial, if the case makes it that far.
If you are requested to appear at a deposition, it is mandatory to attend. It is important to be honest and consistent with your statements and only provide facts rather than speculative or opinionative points. If you later say something that contradicts your deposition, your credibility will be in question and it may hurt the outcome of your claim.
Benefits of a Deposition
The deposition is usually your first (and may be your only) chance to provide on-the-record testimony and share your side of the story. Therefore, a written record is created and can be used later to compare to testimony in a trial.
Besides providing the facts of the incident in your own words, your deposition allows lawyers from both sides to understand strengths and weaknesses about the case and how you would testify in the presence of a judge and jury.
Types of Questions in a Deposition
Although your lawyer can be present at the deposition, he or she cannot help with answering the questions you are asked.
However, your lawyer can help you prepare beforehand, so you have a general idea on what to expect and how the questions should be answered to protect your claim.
Some of the issues you are likely to be questioned about in a personal injury deposition include:
- General information – This includes your name, contact information, family makeup, occupation, etc.
- Your physical condition prior to the accident – Although it cannot be held against you, the attorney will want to know if you had any preexisting conditions or other ailments before the incident occurred.
- The details about your recent injury – This includes the injuries and other damages you sustained in the accident, whether you were examined by a medical professional and the treatment you were provided.
- How the injury and/or other damages have changed your lifestyle – This is your chance to explain how the accident has negatively affected your current living conditions compared to life before the accident. This should include any limitations you now have, medical expenses you incurred, lost wages, and physical pain and psychological suffering you endured at the time of the accident and while you were recovering from your injuries.
It is important to be concise with your answers and avoid providing additional information that was not being requested.
Prepare for Your Deposition with a Qualified Attorney
If you were involved in an accident, you may need to attend a deposition, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant.
The licensed attorneys at Anderson & Cummings have over 50 years of combined experience protecting the rights of injury victims throughout the state of Texas.
Call us today at (817) 920-9000 to set up a Free Case Evaluation. There are no costs for you to pay up front. You only pay us if we win compensation for you. Our goal is to get you the maximum compensation available.
Anderson & Cummings. Let’s Win This. Phone: (817) 920-9000