A deposition is a pre-trial oral testimony performed under oath. It serves as a discovery process, where the opposing counsel can ask questions and determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident that caused your injury. The only difference between giving testimony in court and a deposition in a law office is that a judge isn’t present.
That said, the answers you provide during a deposition can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. At Peterson & Associates, P.C., our personal injury attorneys always ensure that our clients are well-prepared for a good deposition, but here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
Four Guidelines to Help You Prepare for a Good Deposition
Everything you say and don’t say, the way in which you say it, and even your professionalism demonstrated through your attire and attitude play an important role in providing a good deposition that affirms your right to this claim. While there’s nothing to fear about this process, remember why adhering to these four points is essential to support your case.
Always tell the truth
If you don’t tell the truth while under oath, you’re committing perjury, which is a felony. Not only could lying negatively impact your claim, but also lead to serious consequences for you personally.
Listen carefully and only answer what is asked
It’s of utmost importance that you listen very carefully to each question asked. You should only provide an answer to the question asked: don’t volunteer any additional information. You could risk putting your case in jeopardy by providing too much or even too little information.
Pause after each question is asked
This gives you time to think about your answer before responding. It also gives your attorney an opportunity to object if a question is inappropriate.
The circumstances surrounding your injury may be emotional for you. However, it’s important to maintain composure during a deposition and not to show anger or any other negative feelings toward the other attorney.
Although depositions can be intimidating, your personal injury attorney will explain what questions will probably be asked so you know what to expect, and prep you on the best ways to answer them. Keep in mind that a deposition is simply a chance to tell your side of the situation fully and honestly, which should help you win the compensation you deserve.