Preparing for Your Personal Injury Deposition
In order to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled from your personal injury claim, it may be necessary to proceed toward trial. The fact is that some insurance companies are simply not willing to negotiate in good faith – especially for cases that involve considerable physical, financial, and emotional damages. While the vast majority of cases are settled out of court, some cases do go to court – and still more go in that direction before they are finally settled out of court. Part of this process can include the need to give a deposition, and it is a good idea to have a solid working knowledge of the process.
What Is a Deposition?
When a personal injury case goes to court, the outcome is predicated on the evidence that is presented to the court. Often, the evidence-gathering process includes depositions. A deposition is a court-ordered testimony in which the deposed person answers questions that are asked of him or her. The claimant in a personal injury case is frequently required to provide such testimony (in the form of a deposition).
Why Depositions Are Sometimes Necessary
Depositions can play important roles in personal injury cases, including all of the following:
They help both sides gather the information they seek.
They help keep both sides accountable by recording the deponent’s responses.
A deposition can take the place of witness testimony at trial – in the event that the witness is no longer available.
Depositions help the deposed recall the exact statements they made, which is especially important for those cases that take many months – or even years – to resolve.
In other words, if you are deposed, it is critical that you be well prepared.
The Rules of Depositions
Facing a deposition can be anxiety-provoking, but understanding the basic rules can help. These include:
Listening Carefully – It is easy to become flustered during a deposition, which is why it is critical that you listen carefully to the questions asked of you, digest each of them, and respond as truthfully and succinctly as you can.
Telling the Truth – Your job is to answer the exact questions that are put before you as truthfully as you can (without going into more detail than is necessary).
Not Allowing the Opposing Counsel to Put Words in Your Mouth – Attorneys are adept at asking leading questions that all but answer said questions for the deponent but do not be fooled. If the attorney begins with Isn’t it true or after you (insert incriminating event here), what did you do – pause and let the attorney know that you are not in agreement with the premise of the question asked.
A Dedicated Killeen Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a well respected personal injury attorney who has reserves of experience helping clients like you prevail at trial. Your case is important, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.