If you've been injured and are bringing a personal injury claim forward for compensation, a deposition will be required. While a deposition can seem nerve wracking at first, knowing what to expect and how to prepare can make the entire process go much more smoothly. Here are 5 critical things to know before your personal injury deposition.
1. A Deposition Is Not a Conversation
A deposition is designed for the defendant's attorney to have the opportunity to ask you questions and determine what you know about the accident. It is a blunt question and answer session, not a conversation. Answer each question as completely and succinctly as possible, and when you're finished, wait for the attorney to ask another question before you speak again. Keeping the deposition simple and straightforward can help you make the session go much more quickly.
2. Don't Volunteer Information That Wasn't Asked
During a deposition, it's important to keep your answers as short as possible. Answer the question you are asked truthfully, but avoid offering or volunteering information that wasn't requested. Offering more information than is needed could potentially compromise your case in the long run. If further explanation on a particular question is truly required, your personal injury attorney can provide the defendant's attorney with additional information via a letter or phone call later on.
3. It's Okay to Say "I Don't Remember"
A deposition is taxing on your brain, and there's a good chance that you will be asked a question that you can't think of the answer to right away. You may also be asked questions that you simply don't know how to answer, because you don't remember what happened clearly. Know that it is okay to let the attorney who is questioning you know that you don't remember something. Avoid "guessing" at the right answer, and ask the attorney to come back to that question later. If you still don't remember, that's okay too. You are not incriminating yourself if you don't remember something about the accident or injury.
4. Ask the Attorney to Repeat a Question If You Don't Understand It
The attorney who is questioning you may ask you something that you don't quite understand. It's okay to ask the questioner to repeat themselves, or to let them know that you didn't understand what they were asking. They may need to rephrase the question, or repeat the question. Attorneys often use language that the average person doesn't understand, and answering anyways when you're not exactly sure what is being asked could do more harm than good.
5. It's Okay to Be Ambiguous
Most of the questions you will be asked during a personal injury deposition will be questions that only require a "yes" or "no" answer. However, you don't necessarily have to answer with just "yes" or "no." Feel free to use phrases that are more ambiguous if you aren't sure, like "as far as I can remember" or "I don't recall that occurring." This helps you get your point across, but also doesn't constrict you to a particular answer. For example, if you remember something different later, you won't be accused of lying during your deposition.
Depositions can be lengthy and tiresome, however, they are necessary in almost every personal injury case. By working with a seasoned accident attorney, you can face the various aspects of your case with confidence, including your deposition. Your attorney from a site like http://www.attorneyinjury.com/ can assist you in preparing for the questions that will most likely be asked, and can help you make the best impression through your dress, your demeanor, and your ability to answer questions in a professional and straightforward matter.