A personal injury lawsuit involves many steps, one of which includes having your deposition taken. Being deposed can be stressful for good reason, as the goal is to obtain information that could actually weaken your case. That doesn’t have to happen if you are prepared for your deposition-here are some things you can do to help turn the tables and make it beneficial rather than harmful.
Prepare For Your Deposition in Advance
If you are well prepared for your deposition, you are less likely to become flustered. Prior to your deposition, go over important documents with your attorney to help jog your memory. Going through a mock deposition will help you get a better idea as to what questions might be asked, and give you more confidence when the time does come.
Read your subpoena carefully to determine whether or not you’ll need to bring certain documents. If documents are requested, begin gathering them as soon as possible to avoid feeling rushed the day before your deposition.
Plan what you are going to wear very carefully. Dress as though you were going to a job interview, and make sure your clothing is clean, tasteful and modest. If you have visible tattoos, make an effort to cover them. Remove piercings, and pay attention to your hair and makeup. The defense attorney will be sizing you up as a witness, so the more professional you appear the better.
Make sure you know where and when your deposition will take place. Have driving directions printed out in case your GPS system isn’t functional. If possible, visit the location ahead of time so you will know where you can park and how long it might take you to get from your parking area to the deposition site.
The night before your deposition, be sure to get a good night’s sleep. Eat a hearty breakfast that morning to ensure you are not hungry during your questioning.
During your Deposition
Opposing counsel will ask you a series of questions, which will typically begin with demographic information such as your name, address, occupation, etc. These questions tend to give people a false sense of security, making them more relaxed later when difficult questions are asked. By being aware of this tactic, you can avoid falling into that trap.
Listen to the question completely, then pause and rethink about it before answering. This will ensure you give clear, accurate responses. Your attorney may object to certain questions, but then ask you to answer them anyway. This is normal, as no judge actually presides over a deposition.
Provide as little information as possible, giving only “yes” or “no” answers when appropriate. If you aren’t sure about a particular question, ask for clarification. Never attempt to fill in gaps by providing information you are unsure of. If you can’t answer with absolute certainty, state “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” If you believe certain things are true, but are not positive, say “I believe that…” or I estimate …” instead.
Some depositions may last several hours. Ask for a break whenever you need one so you can stretch your legs and refresh yourself. At least one ten to fifteen-minute break every hour is recommended to prevent fatigue that could cause you to give inappropriate answers.
When a deposition goes smoothly, the odds of a quick settlement increase dramatically. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to put your best foot forward while also eliminating a great deal of stress.
Your Personal Injury Attorney
It is important to have strong representation from your personal injury attorney prior to and during a deposition. They will help guide you through the process and address any anxiety you may have. If you have been injured in a car or truck accident in Florida and are seeking experienced representation, contact the florida personal injury attorneys at David & Philpot P.L. They offer free, no obligation consultations. They can answer all of your questions regarding depositions and any other aspect of your case. Fill out their free case evaluation form or contact directly at 800.360.7015.