Understanding Depositions in Car Accident Cases
When you’re involved in a collision, a lot can begin to happen in a short amount of time. To properly handle the stressful ordeal, you will need to keep copious notes and create a file of paperwork for everything related to the accident. If a personal injury lawsuit is filed, you may be required to provide a deposition. As a way to obtain information under oath for each side of the case, depositions may be crucial in proving your innocence in the accident.
What Happens in a Deposition?
A deposition occurs when all parties involved in the lawsuit come together, along with the attorneys for each side and someone to administer the oath. They will ask about your background, general health before the accident, any medical treatment since the accident and information about the accident. Your attorney will be there to assist with any questions which may be viewed as improper.
What If I Don’t Remember Everything That Happened?
During questioning, they may ask something that you don’t remember or simply don’t know. When providing a deposition, honesty is the best policy. If you do not recall something, tell the questioner that. Making up an answer or answering how you think you should is never a good idea.
Should Answers Be “Yes” or “No”?
One of the most important parts of the deposition process is to understand how you will answer questions. Keep in mind that “yes” and “no” answers lock you into a response, while statements such as “I believe so” or “Not that I recall” leave more leeway. Don’t be afraid to pause between the question and answer so that when you respond, your reply is short, concise and does not give away more information than required. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question.
A Few Final Thoughts
Remain aware of your mind and body during the deposition. If you need a break for the restroom or a snack, make everyone aware before answering the next question. Your personal appearance should resemble that of a job interview, so try to present yourself as clean and ambitious. Ask to see records or reports to which they refer during questioning to confirm the accuracy of information. If needed, ask your attorney to depose other individuals involved in the accident, such as medical personnel or witnesses.
Depositions can appear daunting, but with the right preparation and a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Sacramento on your side, you’ll be primed to answer anything that comes your way. If you need an attorney who will look out for your best interests, contact the Law Offices of Robert L. Meissner for a complimentary consultation by using our online form. Feel free to give us a call at (916) 473-1537.