A deposition is a procedure that happens before a trial where one party asks questions to the other party in order to obtain information. Although depositions are not typically carried out inside the courtroom, the courts still play a role.
Participants in a deposition may need to take an oath that they will state the truth before a judge, and if the deposition is compulsory, a judge can issue a subpoena, which mandates that a person participate in a deposition.
In a typical personal injury deposition, an attorney for one party will ask the person being deposed questions connected to the personal injury claim. The questions and answers are recorded, and a copy of the deposition can be presented as evidence in trial.
Types of Questions
Information obtained during a deposition can not only determine how much money a party may obtain, but can also help decide the outcome of a case. Due to the importance of depositions, some of the questions may relate to your personal life. These can include:
- What injuries have you had in your life?
- What illnesses have you had?
- Have you ever been involved in litigation before?
- Do you have a criminal record?
- What do you do for work?
Questions will also relate to the facts of the case and the injury. In addition to specifics about what happened on the day of the issue at hand, other questions can include:
- Was anyone together with you when the injury occurred?
- Were there witnesses?
- Did you file an insurance claim?
- What happened to you?
- Did you call the police?
- Did you see a doctor?
- Did you receive treatment?
- How have you been feeling since your original treatment?
- Has the injury affected your life in any specific way?
Other questions may be asked of you that help attorneys determine your reliability as a witness. For example, you may be tested on your memory, vision, or hearing ability. You may also be asked to give a history of where you have lived, or other historical information.
Preparation for a Deposition
Your attorney will help you prepare for your deposition. There are, however, some things you can do on your own to make sure you answer the questions asked to you as honestly and effectively as possible. You can start preparing by reviewing all of the documents that concern the personal injury claim, such as doctor notes, police questioning and reports, or insurance claims.
Secondly, and most importantly, remember to stay calm. Opposing attorneys may ask questions that aggravate you or make you upset, but acting on those emotions will impede your ability to answer in an effective way.
A personal injury lawyer can help you prepare for a deposition, and can be in the room with you as the deposition occurs in order to assist you with questioning. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, contact a The Reeves Law Group today so you can ensure that you fully exercise all of your rights under the law.