What Happens in a Deposition? (And Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer at One?)December 09, 2021
- 1. When Does a Deposition Happen? Steps in a Personal Injury Case
- 2. What Happens in a Deposition?
- 3. Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Providing Honest Answers and Real Results in Alabama and Mississippi
One of the most important steps in your personal injury lawsuit is the deposition. This stage is where you will have the chance to establish the facts of your case.
During your deposition, a lawyer will ask you questions about your case while you are under oath to establish a record for the case. Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys are here to help make sure your truth is told and correctly represented during your deposition.
Your deposition is extremely important to your case and will determine how the rest of your trial will go. But be aware, these lawyers may try to trick you into providing facts that are untrue, changing your story, or agreeing to something that didn’t happen. It is important that you are represented by an experienced attorney who can protect you from these tactics.
When Does a Deposition Happen? Steps in a Personal Injury Case
After seeking medical attention for your injuries, you will likely want fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and any other damages you’ve suffered.
It is important to understand the process that personal injury cases take so you can be sure to file properly, get the help you need, and understand what happens after a deposition. Although all cases are different, they all tend to follow the same 5 main steps.
1. Contact an Attorney
It is important that soon after your injury occurs, you contact a personal injury to help evaluate your case. Experienced attorneys can give you insight into your case and help to explain what needs to happen next. During this meeting you will discuss the details of your case, including how severe your injuries are, lost wages, and any medical bills you may be facing.
2. Reviewing Your Case
To fully understand your case, your attorney will need to gather evidence. This might include security footage, eyewitness statements, reviewing any pictures or records of the incident (like a police report), and speaking with expert witnesses (such as traffic collision reconstructionists, traffic safety experts, and doctors).
3. Filing Your Claim and Negotiation
After all the evidence for your case has been reviewed, your attorney can confidently file a claim to demand compensation from the responsible parties. Your claim will feature all the information about your injuries and the accident that caused them, as well as what compensation you expect to receive.
Once your claim is filed, an initial settlement offer will be sent over for your consideration (if the claim is not rejected). Discuss this offer with your attorney and think carefully before accepting or declining. The reality is that most initial settlement offers are for far less than your case is worth, and if you accept you will be unable to seek additional compensation later.
4. Discovery Phase
During the discovery phase, both your attorney and the insurance company’s attorney will have the opportunity to gather and share more information about your personal injury case. This phase is where the deposition occurs. Lawyers will have the opportunity to question you and any involved third parties to gather as much information as possible about your case.
5. Trial or Settlement
After the discovery process, you will typically either come to an agreement over a settlement—possibly through mediation—or go to trial. (Sometimes the parties will agree to arbitration as an alternative.)
What Happens in a Deposition?
Now that we know when a deposition occurs in the personal injury case timeline, we can address what happens during the deposition itself.
A deposition is when a person, also known as the deponent, provides testimony under oath that will be recorded by a court reporter. Attorneys will ask questions to gather the full truth—or to trick you into saying something that could harm your case. The opposing attorney may try to phrase questions in a way that could make it seem as though you were responsible for your own injuries, but any experienced attorney will be sure to prepare you and help you through the process.
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How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
It is important to be fully prepared on how to answer questions, which questions to answer, and knowing what not to do to avoid jeopardizing your claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the more complicated parts of a deposition confidently. Your attorney can also object to misleading questions that other lawyers may try to use to trick you into saying the wrong thing.
Andy Citirin’s team is experienced at helping our clients fight back against wrongful claims, like in Eddie’s case, and can help you present your case in the best possible light at your deposition.
Potential Deposition Pitfalls
Knowing what to do and what not to do in your deposition can help to safeguard against any attempts to question your truth. Here are a few key examples of things to avoid doing during your deposition.
- Avoid sharing opinions, unless cleared by your attorney. Your role in the deposition process is to provide the facts about your accident and your injuries. Opinions can often hurt your case more than help.
- Try not to get too emotional about answers, as opposing attorneys will attempt to use this to their advantage. You may end up saying something that could hurt your case while excited or distressed, which is the goal of opposing attorneys.
- Don’t tell jokes or use sarcasm during your deposition. The record for your testimony will be presented as written by the court reporter and using sarcasm or telling jokes may make you seem untruthful.
- Tell the truth, and if you aren’t sure about the answer to a question, don’t guess. It’s okay to say you don’t know or don’t remember if that’s the truth. Answering truthfully and telling your side of the story will help strengthen your case the most.
Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Providing Honest Answers and Real Results in Alabama and Mississippi
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we know the impact a personal injury case can have on you and your loved ones. Our team of experienced and dedicated attorneys are here to help you successfully navigate your deposition and get the fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation so we can listen to your story, understand your case, and offer suggestions on how to move forward.
Call (251) 888-8888 or complete this brief form to request your free consultation today.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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