What is a Deposition?
A deposition is a sworn, out-of-court testimony, taken under oath. In personal injury cases, it serves as a powerful tool for gathering information and evidence. At Peterson Law Firm, we're here to help you understand this vital aspect of your case.
Purpose of a Deposition?
The deposition for the defense side has many purposes that we want to discuss to make sure we are all on the same page. First and foremost, they want to get you on the record as to what happened. Beyond that though they are going to try and limit your injuries and try to see if they can set you up to be a liar.
The best way to avoid this is to watch for any questions relating to your injuries where they ask something like “tell me everything” or “list everything” or “is that all?” You should always answer those questions with “That’s all I can think of right now” or “That’s all I can recall” because it is hard to remember every single issue you are having on the spot.
Furthermore, as to the other side trying to set you up to be a liar, the best way to avoid this is to always tell the truth. Always assume that every question that you are being asked that they already know the answer.
Biggest Mistakes People Make In Deposition
- Talking too much! Remember the 2 sentence rule
- Allowing yourself to be cornered into “Is that all?” or “have you told me everything…?”
- Remember, “That’s all I can think of right now”
- Getting frustrated or defensive by being asked what seem to be irrelevant questions
- Not telling the Truth! (They already know the answers to most of their questions. They are trying to catch you in a lie!)
- Failing to be polite and likeable (remember, the defense is going to send an evaluation of YOU to the insurance company after your deposition and if recorded your depo can be shown to a jury)
- Trying to convince the defense of anything. The defense is being paid to not believe anything you say.
Why Depositions Matter in Personal Injury Cases
Depositions are instrumental in discovering the facts of your case, assessing witness credibility, and identifying any inconsistencies in testimony. Our experienced personal injury attorneys know that deposition testimony can be a game-changer, potentially leading to favorable settlements or verdicts.How to Prepare for a Deposition
At Peterson Law Firm, we've helped countless clients prepare for depositions. Start by working closely with our skilled attorneys, who will guide you through the process. We'll assist you in reviewing case details, anticipating potential questions, and ensuring you're well-prepared to provide truthful and focused responses. Steps to Prepare for a Deposition:
1) Consult Your Attorney:Your attorney will be your greatest ally. They will explain the purpose of the deposition, the types of questions you might encounter, and your rights during the process
2) Study Your Case: Get acquainted with the details of your personal injury case, including the incident, evidence, and relevant documents. This knowledge will enable you to provide accurate answers.
3) Practice Makes Perfect: Your attorney may conduct a practice deposition to simulate the real experience. This helps you feel more comfortable and refine your responses.
4) Keep Your Cool: During the deposition, stay composed and composed. Listen attentively to each question and respond thoughtfully.
5) Honesty Matters: The foundation of a successful deposition is honesty. Provide truthful, precise answers, and avoid making guesses or speculations.
6) Stick to the Point: Focus on answering the specific question asked. Providing unnecessary information can lead to confusion.
What to Expect During a Deposition/How the Day will Go At your deposition you will come and sit at a table and the opposing lawyer is going to ask you questions and the Court Reporter is going to take down all your answers. Remember this is an important moment in the case, the impression you make at your deposition will have a profound impact on whether they want to go to trial with you or whether they want to settle.
This is their opportunity to judge you before trial, not to make you nervous, but this is just straight talk. So you’ll want to come dressed professional looking like you’re going to a job interview or church. At the end of the day beyond your testimony, your deposition is also an opportunity for the other side to do an assessment of your likeability and your believability.
During a deposition, you can expect a formal setting with various participants, including yourself, attorneys from both sides, a court reporter, and possibly videographers. Be ready for a wide range of questions, from your personal background to the specifics of your accident and injury.
At Peterson & Associates, we want you to understand the importance of depositions in personal injury cases. Proper preparation is key, and our experienced team is here to support you every step of the way. We're your trusted allies in the legal journey.
Ready to take the next steps in your personal injury case? Contact & Associates for a free consultation. No Win, No Fee, It's that Simple! Our skilled attorneys are here to answer your questions and provide the legal expertise you need. Reach out to us at 816-888-8888 or www.petersonlawfirm.com.