An important part of a personal injury case is the deposition. For most people, this is an intimidating process, as the idea everything you say can and will be used against you definitely applies. The more prepared you are for your deposition, the more solid your claim and the closer you are to getting the compensation you need and deserve. Here are four steps to a successful deposition:
1. Be An Active Listener
Any person can hear, but only some can properly listen. During the deposition, the ability to be an active listener is essential. Attorneys on the side of the negligent party will sometimes use word play, ask the same question multiple times and even ask questions that aren't directly related to the case. If you aren't properly listening to the questions, you could give an inappropriate response, which will be documented and later used against you. Always listen carefully.
2. Only Answer What Is Asked
Only answer what is asked and what you know to be fact. Rambling increases the likelihood of saying something you should not. A great example of this is adding your idea of interpretation of what happened, such as stating that you were traveling 55 mph. Unless you know this to be fact, it's better left unsaid. If the marked speed limit was only 45 mph, you could be found partially negligent for the accident, even if you weren't traveling 55 mph's.
3. Speak Honestly
It should go without saying that it's important to be honest, but a little reminder never hurts. A solid personal injury claim is one that is built on truth, not falsehoods. If you lie during your deposition, your story will quickly unravel and even if you are the victim, you could still walk away empty-handed. If the deposition is given under oath, providing false information could also lead to legal consequences for you in the future.
4. Be Qualitative
While you don't want to ramble, it is okay to be qualitative at times. Too many vague answers leave too much to the interpretation of the negligent party's attorneys, which can be used against you. You're asked, have all your injuries been diagnosed, for example. The incorrect response is yes, even if you are unaware of any additional injuries. The proper response is something like, "I'm still being monitored by a physician." This qualified response leaves the door open in the event a new injury is discovered in the future.
Proper deposition preparation should include advice and guidance from an attorney, such as Thomas A Blake. Rely on their experience to assist you.