What you should know about depositions

A deposition in an accident case can turn the case for or against you. It is wise to understand as much as you can about depositions beforehand.

What is a deposition?

According to Cornell Law, «a deposition is a witness’s sworn out-of-court testimony. It is used to gather information as part of the discovery process and, in limited circumstances, may be used at trial.»

Why should you say as little as possible during a deposition?

Keep in mind that the other side—the defendant’s attorney—is trying to establish that his client was not at fault. Or perhaps the attorney may try to prove that your injuries were not as serious as you claim. For this reason, you should answer the question asked but limit you answer to the exact question. Providing additional information does not help your case. If you believe there is other information you should provide, discuss it with your attorney first.

Is preparation important?

It is important to know what documents your lawyer has supplied to the defense. This could include the police report, your medical records and other relevant documents. Review them to refresh your memory. Be prepared to answer questions about the accident, your injuries, your medical treatment and your personal background. Also, ensure your answers are consistent with the information the defense attorney has.

If you do not know the answer to a question, you should say that you don’t know.

You do not want to give different facts than you earlier reported, so keep your story accurate. For example, if you say you were driving at a certain speed, do not answer you were driving at a different speed.

Other than answers, what are defense attorneys looking for?

The defense attorney evaluate how likable you are, your attitude and your credibility. They use these characteristics to analyze the strength of their case. Juries tend to award more compensation to a likable injury victim.

What questions might the defense attorney ask to strengthen their case?

They might try to establish that your injuries come from a pre-existing condition and not the car accident. You should expect questions about your earlier injuries and physical condition.

(Reference: Nolo.com)

See examples of deposition questions.

Do you need legal help with your injury?

The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz represents clients nationwide in cases that involve substantial injury through another party’s negligence. We have represented clients throughout Texas including clients in San Antonio, Austin and other locations.

Arrange a free consultation to discuss your case.