Plaintiffs facing an injury deposition may have plenty of questions. It is important to have an attorney who can explain the process, but also adequately prepare you for what is ahead. Regardless of how much preparation you receive, there are some things that you should never do or say in an injury deposition. These things can harm your case’s integrity, but also could reduce your case’s settlement value tremendously.
What is a Deposition?
Depositions are essentially question-and answer-sessions with the defense’s attorney. The attorney will ask questions and you, the plaintiff, will provide answers. Your attorney is present during the deposition, and a court reporter is also present to document what is said. While you may not be in a courtroom or in front of a judge, you will have everything you say used in court.
The purpose of a deposition is to ensure that both sides fully understand the case. This prepares the defense by giving them discovery to your facts, recollections, and impressions. They will ask questions, such as what you were doing at the time of the accident, the extent of your injuries, treatments you have received, etc.
What You Should Never Do in a Deposition
There are some things that you should never do in a deposition. These include:
Lying. Never lie or exaggerate the truth in a deposition. Doing so could be devastating to your accident case. Instead, be honest and upfront about every detail. If you are unsure of how to answer, ask for a break to consult with your attorney. Your attorney can advise you as to how to disclose information properly. If you are asked about previous medical conditions, you must answer honestly. Lying in a deposition will harm your credibility – and, ultimately, could result in your case being dismissed.
Giving longer answers than necessary. While you must be honest, you do not need to be in-depth. Answer the questions with as few words as possible, and never elaborate or go into detail. Instead, wait for the other side’s attorney to ask for you to elaborate further.
Get angry. The other side may attempt to accuse you of things, or even intentionally aggravate you, during your deposition. It is critical that you do not get angry or show too much emotion. While you can certainly show that you are upset from your injuries, lashing out, cursing, or threatening during a deposition will harm your case.
Guessing. Depositions are there to catch you in a lie, or use what you say against you. If you are ever unsure of an answer, say you do not know. Never guess.
Showing up unprepared. This falls on your attorney just as much as you. You should always show up to a deposition prepared to have questions asked and answered.
Be Prepared for Your Deposition – Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, your settlement, and the success of your case, hinges on the quality of counsel that you receive. To ensure the best settlement, contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC. We offer free consultations – so schedule yours at 800-991-0474 or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.