When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you should also prepare to provide a deposition. A deposition is a period of time in which you sit down and provide the details of your accident and resulting injury while under oath. The deposition helps to determine who is at fault for the accident. There are some rules for depositions, which include the following.
You are providing a statement under oath, and you swear to tell the truth under penalty of the law. The defendant's attorney will examine you and will try to determine if you are honest through targeted questions. If you are honest, there is no way to poke holes in your statements. Simply explain the accident in simple, factual statements without embellishing the story in any way.
Listen to the Questions
When anyone asks you questions, listen to the question carefully before answering. Only answer the question asked without any additional details. Less is more when it comes to depositions.
Only Answer if You Know What is True
If someone asks you a question and you do not know the answer, simply state that you do not know. As long as you truly do not know the answer to the question, stating you do not know is acceptable in a deposition. Do not venture a guess, even when you are asked to. Any wrong or inaccurate answers can be used against you in your case. You should never guess, particularly when it comes to dates, times, distances, and specific details that can be obtained with a police report. If you prefer, you can prepare a list of information to bring to the deposition. However, allow your attorney to review it prior to the deposition.
Do Not Provide a Narrative
A deposition is not the time to tell your entire story with a long-winded narrative. This process is only used to provide specific information for the sole purpose of establishing liability. If you provide a narrative about your case, the defendant's attorney may pick up pieces of information that could hurt you during your case. If your case goes before a judge, you can then provide additional details if your attorney thinks it will help you.
Do Not Feel Intimidated
Although a deposition may seem scary, do not feel intimidated. Work with your personal injury attorney to prepare. If you feel uncomfortable with a question, try not to choke up and not provide an answer. You should instead request clarification so you can provide a truthful answer.
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