Depositions: The Importance of Being Prepared
In personal injury cases, witnesses are often required to give depositions. Depositions consist of witness testimony that is typically given at a location other than a courtroom. Depositions are generally part of the discovery process that is used to gather more information to be used in court. The deposition can be recorded on video and/or it may be transcribed by a transcriptionist or court reporter.
What Happens When You Are in a Deposition?
During the deposition, the individual being deposed (you) will be questioned and the responses will be given under oath. The opposing attorney will make those inquiries and your attorney will also have a chance to follow-up with questions of his or her own.
Just about every Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer realizes that testifying, even in a small room with minimal people, can be frightening, especially if you’ve never been involved in the legal system previously. Still, depositions are a common part personal injury cases -- so it is best to be as prepared as you possibly can.
Making Sure You’re Prepared for Your Deposition
Typically, most personal injury cases are settled before even reaching the courtroom. That being the case, the deposition might be your only opportunity to convey your side of the story with regard to the case details. Insurance companies and lawyers use depositions to assess a witness’ credibility and if the case does go to court, that same deposition can be used to challenge whatever is said at trial.
When it comes to depositions, preparation is of utmost importance. That said, you will want to meet with your personal injury lawyer to prepare for the deposition. Note, however, that your lawyer will not tell you exactly what to say, but you will be advised as to the various kinds of questions that can be expected from the opposition. You will also be given an approximate timeframe as to the length of the deposition.
During the deposition, you must try to remain as calm, respectful and courteous as possible, and avoid getting angry or hostile when answering the questions posed to you. Keep your answers short and take time to think before speaking. And most importantly, if you do not understand what’s being asked of you, let the individual know and ask to have it rephrased in a way that is clearer for you.
Finally, one of the most obvious things you can do to give the best deposition possible is to simply be truthful. Remember, you’re under oath and are required to tell the truth, just as if you were in court.
Depositions are an important component of personal injury cases, but there is no need to be afraid of dealing with yours if and when the time comes. Your Colorado Springs personal injury attorney will be by your side every step of the way. If you have questions about an upcoming deposition, or if you would like to discuss your personal injury case further with a qualified lawyer, contact Levine Law today.