A deposition can be an important part of a personal injury case. It is a known fact that not all personal injury actions result in a lawsuit. Most parties to civil actions prefer to cash out early than proceed to court.
This is because litigation can go on for years, and victims prefer to take the settlement offered and move on with their lives.
However, there are instances where a personal injury lawsuit is the way to go. But before the case goes to trial, both parties must take some steps. One of them is a deposition. This article covers what to expect in a personal injury deposition.
Our personal injury lawyers at Injured CT also share tips on how to behave during a deposition. Contact our law office if you have more questions about the process and how a personal injury lawsuit works. We are always happy to help.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is a question and answer section where the opposing party or attorney tries to verify your answers, cast doubt, or raise new questions.
It happens on a date and time agreed on by both parties and usually at a law office. You, your attorney, the other party’s attorney, and a court reporter (stenographer) are allowed at the deposition.
The party giving the deposition is the deponent. The person’s statement is usually under oath, and they must answer questions asked truthfully. The court reporter records the questions and answers, and it can be used in court when trial commences.
Furthermore, a deposition is part of the discovery process. The defendant’s attorney will send you a notice of deposition, and your attorney will send one to the defendant. Once you receive the message, participation is mandatory, so you cannot choose whether to go or not go.
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What Can You Expect from a Deposition?
The one thing to have in mind during a personal injury deposition is that the opposing counsel is not your friend. They will appear calm, polite, professional, and friendly while trying to draw you in and get you to make a mistake that would jeopardize your case. But don’t be fooled. Stick with the case facts and your attorney’s instructions before the deposition.
The questions asked at a deposition are referred to as interrogatories, and here’s what to expect:
- General Personal Information: This covers questions about your background like your name, age, occupation, place of residence, contact information, familial makeup, etc.
- Prior Physical Condition: The opposing party will ask questions about your physical condition before the accident that caused your injury. The key here is to uncover any underlying medical condition. Also, if you suffered a cognitive injury, the opposing attorney may probe to determine the extent of the wound’s impact. When answering this question, stick with the facts and be as concise as possible.
- Accident Information: No matter how traumatizing the crash was for you, you’ll have to relive it time and time again until you get compensation. So, expect the defense counsel to ask you to recount what happened in your words. Expect questions on how the crash occurred, your initial reaction, the weather that day, your mental state, etc.
- Injury Description: After discussing how the accident happened, you’ll talk about your injuries. Here, the opposing counsel wants to know the type of injury sustained, your treating physician, whether you underwent surgery, how long you were hospitalized, etc. Ensure your answer is the same as your medical report, so go through it before the deposition.
- Life After the Accident: Here, you’ll discuss the impact of the accident on your life. Talk about whether you could return to work or not, your PTSD, if any, financial losses, etc. Again, stick to the facts while telling your story without exaggerating.
How to Conduct Yourself During a Deposition
Here are tips on how to conduct yourself during a personal injury deposition.
- Be professional and polite.
- Stick to the case facts by answering only the questions asked
- Don’t rush while giving your answers; try to remain calm.
- Be honest, as lying on oath could have severe consequences
- Be prepared; go through your accident journal, the police report, and the medical information before the deposition. You can role play with your attorney to prepare yourself for possible questions.
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Are you an accident victim in Hartford, Connecticut, considering filing a personal injury lawsuit? Then our personal injury lawyers at Injured CT can help you.
We will adequately prepare for every stage of the case, including a deposition, and win at trial if we do not arrive at a settlement. You can trust us with your case, so call today for a free case review.