Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are the plaintiff, defendant, or witness in a personal injury case, you may be required to attend a deposition. Your personal injury lawyer should talk you through the process in great detail so you are well informed. However, you might want to be as prepared as possible, or perhaps you are educating yourself on what to expect in a personal injury claim. In that case, the following is a brief guide on the basics of a deposition in a personal injury case.
What Is A Deposition?
A deposition is a meeting between all parties involved in a personal injury case. Usually it includes the plaintiff, defendant, and their lawyers. Court reporters will also be present and are there to swear in each party to a legal oath. This is similar to an oath that would be used in trial. A court reporter wil also record everything that happens. During the deposition, witnesses might be present, and could be questioned about what they saw or heard.
The object of a deposition is to establish both the plaintiffs and defendants version of events about the incident in question. The defendant will hear information about what the plaintiff experienced, and the nature of their injuries. This will allow the defendant to prepare for trial. Usually, the case is settled before ever going to court. As the plaintiff of a personal injury case, you would likely meet with your lawyer beforehand so you know what will happen during the deposition.
Questions You Might Be Asked
Because the point of a deposition for a personal injury case is to establish each party’s own version of what happened, the majority of questions will be focused on this. There will likely be variation depending on the circumstances of the case, but the following are basic questions that may be asked in a deposition:
- What is your name, age, and address?
- Do you have family?
- What is your education, career, and/or background?
- Have you ever been involved in a crime?
- Have you ever filed a personal injury claim?
- Have you ever filed a civil claim?
- Have you suffered an illness or injury in the past?
- If so, what was the nature of the illness or injury?
- Have you ever been admitted to a hospital?
- Do you have the names of the doctors?
- Can you describe the accident that led to the injury?
- Do you remember who was there?
- Did anyone admit fault?
- What was the severity of the injuries?
- Did you get immediate help?
- Where were your injuries treated?
- What is the name of the doctor?
- Are you continuing your treatment?
How Answers Should Be Addressed
Regardless of you being the plaintiff, defendant, or a witness, you may be anxious, nervous, or scared about answering the questions in a deposition. The following are a few tips to consider:
- Avoid guessing. If you don’t know the answer, say so.
- Ask for better clarification. When you don’t understand something, don’t assume you know what is being asked of you.
- Keep things short and simple. Your answers should be no more than one or two sentences.
- Be honest. In a deposition, you are under oath. If you are caught lying, you could face penalties.
- Do not talk unless you are asked to talk. Avoid volunteering any information about what happened unless you are directly asked about it.
If you would like to know more about the process of a personal injury claim, a deposition, or whether or not you have a valid case, call a personal injury lawyer Salt Lake City, Utah trusts now.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury cases and depositions.