If you have been engaged in negotiations for a personal injury claim, and those have failed to lead to a settlement, you might elect to file a personal injury lawsuit. Once you have done that, you should expect to be scheduled for a deposition.
What is a deposition?
That is a pre-trial meeting between the plaintiff and the defendant’s attorney. The same attorney interviews the plaintiff, along with other witnesses. All of the answers are recorded.
What questions can a deposed witness expect to be asked?
Questions aimed at learning background information, such as the witness’ name and contact information. They will also inquiries about the nature of the witness’ employment. An inquiry that is directed at learning the extent of the witness’ past and present injuries.
A question directed at the witness, in order to learn whether or not he or she has any debts. An effort to obtain information on exactly what happened at the time of the injury-causing accident. Deponents may also be asked about their criminal history and driving record.
Is the lawyer for the defendant the only attorney that questions each witness?
No, the plaintiff’s lawyer may also pose questions to the witnesses. In addition, any deponent that appears to have lots of useful information might get questions from other injury lawyers in Martinez, as well.
Tips for those that are going to be answering questions at a deposition
Dress well; dress like someone that has an office job. Be sure to speak up and to speak clearly. Remember that your answers are being recorded. Be polite and do not use any language that might be cut-out from a televised announcement. Show respect towards the questioner.
Do not act and talk like you would in a casual conversation. Show that you view the deposition as a serious process.
Do not feel that you must give an immediate answer to each question. Pause, after hearing the inquiry, and think about the best answer, before responding to that same inquiry.
Do not guess at an answer. If you did not hear the question, or did not understand it, ask to have it repeated. If you start guessing at answers, you risk the chance of failing to follow the advice that is contained in this next tip.
Tell the truth. If you tell the truth, you should be able to follow the piece of advice that follows this particular tip. Strive to give consistent answers. If you give 2 contradictory answers, that makes it look like you are making up information as you go along.
Try to remain calm, so that you can focus on providing the questioner with a respectful answer. Your information is of value to those that are questioning witnesses.