If you’ve filed a personal injury lawsuit, it’s likely that at some point in the process, you’ll be asked to give a deposition.
The idea of recounting your story under oath might seem daunting, but understanding what to expect can help to demystify the process and reduce anxiety.
This article will offer a comprehensive look at personal injury depositions, guiding you through the process and preparing you for what lies ahead.
A deposition is part of the discovery process in a lawsuit, which allows each party to gather information about the case.
In a deposition, you’ll answer questions under oath about the accident, your injuries, and their impact on your life.
Your responses, which are typically video or audio recorded, can be used as evidence during the trial.
Who Will Be Present?
Depositions usually occur in a lawyer’s office. Those present typically include you (the deponent), your attorney, the opposing attorney (who asks the questions), and a court reporter, who records the proceedings.
Occasionally, the defendant or a representative of the defendant’s insurance company may be present.
Preparation is Key
Before your deposition, you will meet with your attorney to prepare.
They will explain the process, review key documents, and may conduct a mock deposition to familiarize you with the types of questions to expect.
The best advice is to be honest, thorough, and as precise as you can be. If you don’t remember or don’t know the answer to a question, it’s perfectly acceptable, even important, to say so.
Deposition Structure and Common Questions
Depositions often begin with background questions about your life. Then, they delve into more specific areas: the details of the accident, the nature and treatment of your injuries, the impact of your injuries on your life, and any financial losses you’ve experienced as a result.
The Accident: You’ll be asked to recount the accident, including where you were going, what you saw, and what you did immediately before, during, and after the accident. Try to avoid guessing or speculating.
Your Injuries: You’ll detail your injuries, medical treatment, the doctors you’ve seen, medications you’ve taken, and any discussions you’ve had with doctors about your prognosis.
Impact on Your Life: You’ll discuss how your injuries have affected your day-to-day life, including work limitations, physical activities, hobbies, and relationships.
Financial Impact: If you’re claiming lost wages, you’ll likely be asked about your employment history, current job, hours worked, and wages.
After the Deposition
After the deposition, the court reporter will transcribe the testimony. Subsequently, you will have a chance to review the transcript and correct any errors in a document called an “errata sheet”.
However, you can’t change your answers — only fix errors made by the court reporter.
A personal injury deposition can be a critical element of your case, but it doesn’t have to be an intimidating process.
Remember, your attorney will be there to guide and protect you. The best approach is to stay calm, listen to the questions carefully, and answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
Above all, remember that the deposition is an opportunity for you to give your side of the story. Prepare thoroughly, be attentive to the process, and you’ll navigate your deposition successfully.
Our team at Wood, Atter and Wolf comprises experienced attorneys who offer free consultations on the rights of injury victims post-accident. We empathize with your situation and strive to help you regain your stability.
Throughout your case, we will stand on your side and at your side, gathering evidence and formulating persuasive arguments on your behalf, allowing you to concentrate on healing and rebuilding your life.
At Wood, Atter and Wolf, we specialize in personal injury law and understand the complexities of pedestrian accident lawsuits. Our commitment is to serve as a steadfast ally. We’ll guide you through the legal landscape and alleviating burdens associated with seeking justice and compensation.
We approach each case with methods that foster an environment conducive to fair resolution. To discuss your situation, call us at (904) 355-8888 or schedule a consultation. Together, we can successfully navigate this challenging period in your life.