What To Expect In, and Why You Shouldn’t Fear, a Deposition

If you file a lawsuit to recover damages for injuries you sustain, in most cases, you can expect to be called to sit for deposition. Movies and TV have ingrained in us that depositions are scary things. But if you’re properly prepared, and understand how the process works, depositions are nothing to be nervous or concerned about.

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What to Expect

As an initial warning, this is general advice only. Every case is different, and a good attorney will prepare you for deposition questions that may be specific to your case and your history.

A deposition is simply a process where attorneys from the other side ask you questions about your accident, your health, and to some extent, about your history. Your attorney will be there, but generally, can’t speak or answer questions for you, and you won’t be able to secretly confer with your lawyer before answering a question.

There will also be a court reporter there, transcribing everything you say for the record. It is important that you are clear, and that you say exactly what you will say at any trial down the road.

In most cases, opposing attorneys are cordial and polite when asking you questions. There is an impression that the attorney’s questions are intended to fool you or that questions have a secret, hidden legal meaning. This usually isn’t the case, and again, your attorney should let you know beforehand about any such questions.

The Questions at Deposition

Most questions are not very invasive. The most invasive questions usually concern your past health or medical history, and any prior lawsuits you may have been involved in, if any. Of course, if there is something very sensitive that you are concerned about discussing, you should tell your attorney beforehand so those issues can be dealt with.

The bulk of the questions will usually involve the accident itself, and your treatment or recovery from any injuries. Be aware that if the other side has surveillance video of the accident or of your daily activities after the accident, you often will not have the opportunity to review it before your deposition.

The deposition also is the other side’s opportunity to evaluate you as a witness. Are you likeable? Well spoken? Can you confidently relay what’s happened to you? Again, your attorney will give you pointers in improving in these areas.

Don’t Fear Depositions

Many injury victims actually enjoy depositions, and find them cathartic. The deposition is your chance to tell the other side exactly how your life has been affected. After months or years of having an attorney speak for you, you now get the chance to speak for yourself, and explain in your own words what the accident has done to you.

In many cases, depositions can lead to settlements, avoiding the necessity of trial. Think of it as a necessary but important step in the process of getting justice and fair reparation for your injuries.

Injury lawsuits can be involved processes, but aren’t difficult or fearful with the right attorneys by your side. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

Photo Credit: Kris Krug via Compfight cc

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