How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me During a Deposition
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Depositions are one element of a personal injury case that injured victims often fret over. Your case will succeed only if your deposition is well-prepared and detailed. Being prepared before a deposition is crucial to reducing your nervousness and telling your story clearly.
Your personal injury lawyer can help you feel confident about answering these questions by preparing you for the deposition.
How Does a Deposition Work in Personal Injury Cases
In a deposition, one side asks the other questions about the case in a question-and-answer session held outside of court in a deposition.
This occurs during the discovery process of your case. Depositions can be scheduled in advance and include a specific time, place, and date. Unlike courtroom proceedings, depositions are usually held in an attorney’s office. A court reporter, the opposing counsel, and your attorney can be present during the proceedings.
If you are the plaintiff in the case, the defense can request a deposition without a subpoena or a court order. The defendant’s lawyer will send you a legal request called a notice of deposition.
Both sides can use depositions to gather information in personal injury cases. If you get a notice of a deposition, you must attend and answer any questions asked by the other attorney. Depositions are an important part of the discovery process, and you must participate if your case is to be successful.
Questions You Will Have to Answer at a Deposition
A deposition will have different questions based on the type of injury. The other party’s counsel will often ask questions based on specific actions or events to prove that negligence caused an injury. A court reporter will take down your answers.
Your attorney can help you anticipate the kinds of questions you might be asked in deposition and prepare responses in advance. These questions can cover a wide range of topics.
Among the questions may be some about your background, such as your name, contact information, family composition, and occupation.
Previous Physical Condition
An attorney for the other party will ask questions regarding your health before the accident, such as if you have suffered any prior injuries that may have affected your condition after the accident. If you have cognitive difficulties resulting from your injury, this is essential to emphasize in the deposition.
If you sustained a brain injury or concussion in a car accident, you must provide a vivid picture of your health. In general, how you respond to these questions will give a detailed impression of your life and health before the accident and how you have suffered since.
Details of the Accident
The opposing counsel will want you to provide all of the details of your accident as much as possible. Questions may range from the date and time of the accident to the weather conditions to any conversation you had with the other party afterward.
You will be under oath, so you need to be as clear as possible about your recollection of the accident. If you don’t practice your story with your attorney, it is quite easy to get flustered when recalling specific details.
You could be questioned about the events that led to your injury, the medical care you received, and the cause of your injury during the deposition if the case revolves around a specific injury.
You will need to describe the extent of your injuries and recovery in great detail, such as medical treatments, visits to your primary care provider, and follow-up therapy sessions, such as physical and occupational therapy. You must be specific about your injury so that you can build on this answer to explain how it affects your mental, emotional, and financial health.
What Your Life is Like After an Injury
You may also be asked for information on your life as a result of your injuries. If the accident resulted in the loss of future earnings because you are unable to return to the same occupation, you might be asked about that as well.
In this line of questioning, you will talk about your life today and how that has changed from before the accident, including any limitations, expenses, and emotional pain you have experienced.
Your personal injury attorney is your best ally in the deposition. They can defend you and object to the opposing counsel if their questions or conduct are out of line.
The Best Way to Handle an Opposing Counsel
You must consider how you will handle the opposing counsel who will seek to undermine your claims since this is the only time the attorney’s client speaks for themself. They may suggest that you are lying or making errors in your answers.
Some may even try to put words in your mouth by asking you a series of perplexing questions to elicit certain admissions from you. To combat this, you must remain vigilant and remain calm in the deposition.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Prepares You for a Deposition
Dealing with an attorney can be daunting, especially when you are in recovery from your injury. Here are some ways in which we can assist you with your deposition.
Preparation Before the Deposition
You can practice courtroom etiquette, such as how to conduct yourself politely with small talk. We can also help you prepare for depositions through role-plays, enabling you to feel more at ease. We help you understand what questions may be asked in the deposition and review your story with you, so you have a clear and truthful narrative to deliver that supports your case. Practicing ahead of time allows you to be specific in details that could escape you in the moment.
All answers to questions are on the record, so it is crucial to practice with an attorney. Keep in mind that trying to avoid grammatical errors and misinterpretations in your wording is essential when giving your answers. The at-fault party may try to use your answers to refuse your claim if there is any room for doubt.
Negotiation for a Settlement
Following a deposition, both lawyers can review the court reporter’s record for any inconsistencies. Sometimes, another witness may need to come forward to get a complete understanding of the accident. An independent medical exam may be required to determine the extent of your personal injury from a professional’s perspective.
Typically, you and the insurance company for the other party will negotiate several rounds of a settlement before it is reached. You may be offered a settlement based more on what the insurance company wants to pay you than what you deserve for your injuries.
Your attorney can help you review any settlement and can take your personal injury claim to court if needed.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Deposition
A personal injury lawyer can provide you with adequate preparation, legal advice, and direction to ease your anxiety heading into a deposition. We will be your advocate using our experience in handling personal injury cases to guide you through the process.
Call the law firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. at 1-866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation if you are facing a deposition for a personal injury claim.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.