You decided to file a personal injury claim after being involved in a serious car accident. Now, you are going to have to participate in a deposition for the first time. A deposition is a fact-finding investigation that the lawyers use to uncover details that will hopefully help with their case. You will be asked a series of questions by the other individual's attorney. Here are five tips to help you prepare for your upcoming car accident deposition:
Tip #1: Always Listen Closely to the Question Being Asked.
Any information that you provide at the car accident deposition can and will likely be used at the trial in the future. So, it is important that you ensure that you fully understand a question before you answer it. Listen carefully to each question when it is asked and take a few seconds to let it sink in if needed. If you are uncertain as to what was asked or what is meant by the question, ask for it to be asked again or even explained if you don't understand it. You don't want to provide unrelated information. However, at the same time, you want to ensure you properly answer the question.
Tip #2: Keep Your Answers As Short and Sweet As Possible.
When individuals are nervous, they often tend to ramble on and on. This is the last thing that you want to do in car accident deposition. So, you will want to try to keep your answers to questions short and sweet. Be precise when you answer a question, especially when you are answering a question that requires details and descriptions.
Tip #3: Be Honest in Your Answers.
Like in trial, you will be under oath while in a car accident deposition. So, even if a particular answer could potentially have a negative impact on your case, you don't want to lie and let it hurt your credibility later down the road. Also, if you are uncertain as to the answer to a question, you should avoid guessing and estimating. Simply state to the interviewer that you do not remember or that you do not know.
Tip #4: Take the Time to Practice.
The best thing you can do to prepare for your car accident deposition is to practice. You and your attorney (or a paralegal in the office) should practice together. Your attorney will have a list of questions that will likely be asked of you and you can practice being asked these questions and how you will respond. Practicing can help you get in the right state of mind.
Tip #5: Try to Relax.
Partaking in a car accident deposition can be a bit frightening if you have never done it before, so it's okay to be nervous. However, it is not meant to be combative, so try to relax by taking a deep breath. If you need to take a break throughout the deposition to get a drink or to get a little bit of fresh air, ask for a short break. If you aren't sure how to properly answer a certain question, request time to confer with your attorney, one like True Guarnieri Ayer LLP.