What to Expect When Being Deposed for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you are being asked to complete a deposition after filing a personal injury lawsuit you may be left with many questions. Recently, the Department of Justice reported that 60% of civil trials were personal injury cases. Although personal injury lawsuits are filed often, they still remain a mystery. It may be helpful to have an understanding of a personal injury deposition in case the other party’s attorney requests one.
It is the right of both parties to request a deposition should they require one in a personal injury lawsuit. A deposition is scheduled once you’ve filed your personal injury claim and before the trial starts. When you are asked to attend a deposition, you will not be alone. Your attorney, the opposing attorney and a court reporter will all be present while you are deposed. The court reporter, will be creating a record of all that is discussed in the deposition. When the opposing counsel asks for a deposition, it allows for them to ask you a series of questions around the case. This is helpful for them in gaining an understanding of what you know about the personal injury claim.
Why is this Necessary?
You lawsuit may never go to trial because in some situations personal injury lawsuits settle out of court. It is important that you have a personal injury lawyer at your deposition as the opposing attorney is looking to discredit the information you are giving. It’s possible that this will be the only time you are required to testify in the event that your claim settles before trial. Your testimony is so important during deposition because it gives the opportunity for all interested parties, including attorneys to assess the credibility of your testimony.
Is a Personal Injury Deposition Formal?
While a personal injury deposition is not as formal as a trial, it is more formal than having a chat with your lawyer. Things to keep in mind during your deposition include:
- The information gathered can be used as evidence during the trial.
- Answer the questions honestly, but do not be forthcoming with detailed information unless you are requested to or directly asked.
- Most importantly, you will be under oath. Lying during a deposition is considered an act of perjury.
- Present yourself as you would during trial, remember, all information gathered in the deposition can be used at trial.
- Be respectful
Having the ability to provide additional information in a deposition, while nerve racking, can actually be of great benefit to your personal injury lawsuit. You will be able to provide important information regarding how the other party acted negligently. If you are unsure, or still have questions or worries about being deposed, always speak with your personal injury attorney for clarity. They will be able to support you and ensure that your deposition is one that will benefit your personal injury lawsuit.
Thanks to our friend and contributors from Veritext for their insight into depositions and court reporting.