How Do You Know if Your Deposition Went Well?
There are numerous phases in a personal injury lawsuit. The lengthiest phase is known as discovery. During the discovery phase, attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant request the other side’s evidence they’ve gathered and intend to use at trial. It is common for lawyers from both legal teams to conduct depositions during discovery. Read on for a few tips on how to make sure your deposition goes well.
What Happens At A Deposition
A deposition is essentially just oral testimony given under oath outside of court. Depositions follow an interview format, with the witness answering questions asked by both attorneys. Legal teams use depositions to gather evidence and information from witnesses so that they can ultimately present a stronger case at trial. When the witness later appears in court, their testimony is expected to match the testimony they gave during their deposition.
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you might choose to seek compensation from the at-fault party through a personal injury lawsuit. Before your lawsuit proceeds to trial, you may be required to give a deposition. For personal injury cases, depositions usually cover the specifics of the incident and your injuries and details about your recovery and how the injury has impacted your life.
It isn’t hyperbole to state that your deposition can make or break your case. While your attorney will prepare you for your deposition and ensure you’re familiar with all the facts of your case, keeping the following guidelines in mind during the deposition can also be helpful. By observing these basic rules, you can be confident your deposition will go well.
Read more: What Happens At A Deposition
Tips For Making Sure Your Deposition Goes Well
Ensure You Understand the Question
If you don’t understand the question, it will be impossible for you to give a truthful answer. Don’t begin answering a question until after the attorney has finished asking it. Ask them for clarification if you don’t understand what the attorney is asking. It’s better to say that you don’t understand than to guess at the meaning of the question and risk harming your case.
Tell the Truth
Even if you believe that the truth may harm your case, it’s vital to be 100 percent honest at all times. You could do far more harm to your lawsuit by not telling the truth than by being honest about a weak point in your case. Before you offer sworn testimony, you should review the potential weaknesses of your case with your lawyer and discuss how you will respond if you are asked about these issues. Sometimes, attorneys will ask the same question in several different ways to search for inconsistencies in your testimony. If your original answer is truthful, you should stick to that answer.
If you’re asked a question, and you aren’t sure of the answer, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” You should never say anything in a deposition that can’t be backed up by facts. If the attorney presses you on the matter, just say that you don’t want to guess while you are under oath.
Stick to the Question Being Asked
Once you have finished answering a question, stop talking. Don’t ramble, elaborate further, or provide extraneous details, even if that information could potentially strengthen your case. Only answer the question that you have been asked, and don’t volunteer any information. You could incidentally reveal something that the defendant’s lawyer had not considered, which could lead to other questions that end up harming your case.
Do your best to remain calm throughout the deposition. It’s perfectly normal to get a little upset or emotional when you are asked certain types of questions, particularly when those questions seem designed to poke holes in your story or undermine your version of events. Still, you should try to remain as composed as possible while providing honest answers to the questions being asked. Your attorney will be by your side for legal and moral support throughout the entire process.
These are just some of the basic guidelines you should follow to ensure that your deposition is a success.
Read more: What Happens After A Deposition
Contact The Benton Law Firm
If were injured due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, a personal injury attorney from The Benton Law Firm in Dallas can guide you through every step of your personal injury case. We will ensure that you are well-prepared for any questions that come your way during your deposition and will protect your rights throughout the process.
Contact The Benton Law Firm at (214) 777-7777 to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.