How You Know if Your Deposition Went Well
Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2022 at 10:01 am
If the at-fault party’s insurance company is unwilling to offer you the compensation you deserve, your only option may be to take them to court. One of the steps in the pre-trial discovery phase of a civil lawsuit is the deposition, in which the defense attorney will ask you questions about the accident and your injuries.
Many people feel nervous about the prospect of sitting for a deposition. However, if you keep a few key things in mind, your lawyer will help you make it through the process feeling confident.
How to Prepare for a Successful Deposition
When you sit for a deposition, you will be under oath. You must answer the defense attorney’s questions honestly. However, you do not need to give a long-winded answer to every question. You will help your case more by keeping your responses brief and relevant to the question. Saying more than is required could damage your case.
The following tips can help your deposition go well:
- Be willing to request clarification – You have the right to ask the opposing attorney to repeat a question. Similarly, you can ask them to explain what type of answer they are looking for. If you do not understand the question and try to answer, you run the risk of offering irrelevant or even inaccurate information. Asking for clarification can help ensure that you are giving them the information they seek and nothing more.
- Do not overshare – Many people experience nervousness and stress during a deposition, which can lead to an impulse to fill in silences with unnecessary talking. However, doing this can cause you to reveal information the opposing counsel can use against your case. Avoid rambling. Stop speaking when you have answered each question.
- Tell the truth – You will be under oath when you sit for the deposition. Because of that, your responses need to remain truthful to the best of your knowledge. Exaggerations or misrepresentations of the facts can undermine your credibility in the eyes of the court. Furthermore, you might expose yourself to perjury charges.
- Keep calm – Maintaining your composure can be difficult in a deposition. Yet the more agitated you become, the more you give the opposing counsel the upper hand in the interview. Keep calm, take a breath, and consider each response carefully.
- Avoid speculations or opinions – The purpose of the deposition is for the attorney to gather facts. Offering your opinion or speculating about things you do not know about can hurt your case in the long run.
If you can keep these tips in mind, you can feel assured that your deposition has gone well.
After a Deposition
Each deposition has a court reporter in attendance to create an official transcript of the interview. Both attorneys will have an opportunity to review the transcript and assess the strengths and weaknesses of their cases.
If the attorneys believe the deposition has produced evidence to strengthen your claim, they might enter settlement negotiations again. The defense will want to avoid trial if your ultimate success seems likely.
In the event of ambiguity, however, the defense may wish to proceed to court. Yet before the trial begins, you may have an opportunity to attend a mediation session with the at-fault party and their legal team. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral legal professional can help you find common ground with the other side. The goal of mediation is to produce a settlement agreement that both sides find mutually beneficial. In some cases, a judge may require you to attend mediation before they allow a trial to proceed.
Speak with an Experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney
Preparing for a formal legal interview is challenging for just about everybody. When it is happening at a time of great personal and financial stress, a deposition can feel like a particularly overwhelming prospect. Without experienced legal counsel on your side, you may find yourself second-guessing every response and wondering if you are simply hurting your case.
If your personal injury claim is headed to court, you need excellent legal representation. The skilled and knowledgeable Cincinnati personal injury attorneys of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC will help you feel prepared for your deposition. We will ensure that you have everything you need to keep your case strong at every stage, from the deposition to mediation and into the courtroom. Call us today at (513) 351-5997 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you.