What is a Deposition Like in a Personal Injury Case?

by | Apr 24, 2014

We have all seen depositions on TV dramas. They appear to range from boring to downright daunting on occasions. The characters on TV submit themselves for questioning and are sometimes unwittingly caught in a nasty trap. In real life, depositions are a very important piece of the litigation process, but your lawyer will be there to guide you, prepare you, and protect your interests. The purpose of depositions is for each side to obtain information about the case to prepare for trial. The plaintiff’s side will be searching for information to show that defendant was negligent, and the defendant will be searching for information to prepare defenses or show that there was no negligence.

In a personal injury case, you may have to face questions about your personal history. Some questions are standard: Where do you work? Where do you live? Do you have children? Other questions may be specific to the litigation process: Do you have any prior injuries? Have you ever participated in a lawsuit before? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Have you ever received a traffic citation? Additionally, many of the questions will be about the incident itself: Did you call the police? Where there any witnesses? Did you seek medical treatment? How many times did you go to the doctor? How have these injuries affected your life? You may also be asked questions for the other attorney to determine your reliability: Do you wear glasses? Where you wearing glasses when the incident happened? Do you have a hearing impairment? Do you have any memory impairments? Were you under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident? The full range of questions during a deposition may be very broad because the attorneys have many factors to consider in preparing their case strategy for trial.

Your lawyer will always prepare you before a deposition. He or she will walk you through the process and go over the sequence of events. You can also help by preparing on your own. You can review any of your own notes, doctor’s notes, medical records, diagrams of the accident, accident reports, or police reports. Another way to help prepare for a deposition is getting into a calm mindset. Staying calm during a deposition is very important. You should never let the other attorney aggravate or upset you. This may fluster or confuse you as you are trying to give your deposition testimony. Remember that your job is to stay calm and answer the questions honestly. Leave it to your attorney to step in on your behalf if the situation becomes stressful or upsetting. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, we step in to protect your interests from the moment you hire us through the entire litigation process until your case is resolved.

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