What to Expect at Your Personal Injury Case Deposition
If you are involved in a personal injury trial, the time may come when you are called to sit for a deposition. This may seem scary to you – maybe you’ve heard stories of depositions, or maybe you’ve been deposed before. But in truth, your personal injury deposition is nothing to be afraid of.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is simply you being interviewed by the attorney for the other side. Your answers are recorded, either by video or by a court reporter, and made under oath. What is important is that what you say at your deposition must “match” what you say at trial, when and if you ever have a trial in your case. This may seem daunting, but simply telling the truth will make it easier to make sure this happens, as the truth doesn’t change.
Unlike what you see on TV, you cannot talk to your lawyer between questions or to discuss the answer to your questions. Your lawyer will interject if a question is improper, but you will have to answer questions without your lawyer’s assistance. If you have had a thorough consultation and preparation with your injury lawyer beforehand, this should not be a problem.
Telling the Truth
Most people who get tripped up aren’t lying at their deposition—they just guess at things they don’t actually know, and guess differently in trial than they did at their deposition. That’s why the cardinal rule in depositions is not to answer questions you don’t know the answer to. The answers “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” are usually acceptable answers, and better than guessing at questions you don’t remember.
You may in fact be asked details of your accident that you don’t remember. Accidents are traumatic. In traumatic events, our brains sometimes shut off. Do your best and don’t guess and you’ll be fine.
What Will You Be Asked?
Remember that every case is different, so your personal injury attorney will sit with you and review what questions you can expect to be asked at your deposition.
Most depositions include questions about your background and work, family, legal, and medical history. Some of these are basic background questions, and others are more relevant to your case or claim.
Of course, you can expect to be asked details about the accident itself, and your behavior during the accident. You will be asked about your injuries, and how they affect your daily life. You will be asked about your expenses such as medical bills that you feel are a result of the accident.
Many people actually like all these questions—it is the victim’s chance to speak for him or herself, and to tell the world how the accident has impacted his or her life. Some find it very cathartic.
We can help you prepare for all phases of your personal injury case if you have been injured in an accident. Call the Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, today.