Your personal injury attorney has just told you that the defendant’s counsel wants to take your deposition. You’ve probably heard the word deposition before, but what exactly is it, and what part does it play in your personal injury case?
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is a method that the opposing attorney uses to discover what you know about your own case through verbal questions. Your attorney will represent you at the deposition, and a court reporter will be present to record everything that is said. During your deposition, you will be under oath and must swear to tell the truth since the deposition may later be introduced as evidence at trial.
Why is My Deposition Being Taken?
Your deposition is being taken so the opposing lawyer can form an impression of you. It is very important that you answer the questions truthfully to the best of your knowledge, since it will be difficult to make any significant changes to your testimony once a court reporter has recorded what you said.
How Should I Prepare For a Deposition?
Your attorney will schedule a preparatory meeting for you prior to the deposition. At this meeting you won’t be told what to say, but will discuss the type of questions expected to be covered by the opposing attorney at your deposition. If your attorney is familiar with the other attorney’s personality, attitude, tone of voice, pace, and general style, this will be reviewed, along with goals of the deposition. .
How Should I Conduct Myself?
How you conduct yourself during your deposition can make or break your case. It is important to always be courteous and respectful, and never angry, antagonistic, hostile, or sarcastic. Always think before you answer, never speculate, and don’t offer more information than is asked for. Don’t answer a question with another question, keep it brief and direct, and if you don’t know the answer to a question, say so.