Is My Deposition Important?
Occasionally a personal injury case client will ask is my deposition really that important? … The answer is yes, but only if you want to win. … Sure, preparing for a deposition (which is a statement under oath taken down by a court reporter) is a bit of a pain. To properly prepare you need to review the facts of your case with your attorney so that your memory is refreshed and you can answer accurately. And, answering questions posed by the attorney for the other team is difficult and requires thoughtful consideration of the question before it is answered. In other words, you don’t get points for answering quickly, or answering before you have listened to the entire question. The game is won by thinking before answering and by not providing information that was not asked. In other words, if the question is “do you know what the date is today?”, the answer should be “yes, or no”, not a response that actually provides the date.
But, the overriding most important part of a deposition is really simple: Tell the Truth. Witnesses are obliged to tell the truth even when they think the truth will hurt their case. But, often a truth that a client might think will hurt them, does not at all hurt their case. For example, if the “truth” of your past medical history in a case involving a broken leg is that 10 years ago you broke the same leg, it is not a hurtful thing to admit the fact. Rather, the biggest mistake of all is to deny such a fact. Why? Because records will easily show that the denial was either a mistake, or a lie, and mistakes can hurt you at trial, and lies can kill you at trial.
Otherwise, a deposition is fairly easy as long as you don’t get rattled or upset. And, if you prepare and go over things with your attorney you will NOT be rattled or get upset. If you follow the advice of your attorney you will do well. You will make a good impression on the defense attorney who will be reporting back to the people who decide if they will settle with you, or if they want to go to trial against you.
Oh, and don’t worry about handling objections – your lawyer may object to certain questions asked by the defense attorney, but that is your attorney’s job, not your job.
If you have been injured in a car accident, motorcycle or bicycle accident caused by another person’s negligence, and received injures, you need to contact a personal injury attorney. Feel free to call us at 219-736-9700 for a free consultation.