If you file a claim after getting hurt in an accident that was not your fault, a seasoned injury lawyer will be able to handle most of the legal proceedings on your behalf so you can focus on your health. There is one procedure that you must take part in, though, and that is the deposition.
Although it sounds intimidating, a deposition is nothing more than sworn out-of-court testimony. According to the Legal Information Institute, these proceedings occur during the discovery phase of the claims process.
A deposition is not a court proceeding in the traditional sense because the only people who attend are typically the deponent, the legal counsel for any interested parties, and someone who is qualified to administer oaths. In some cases, a stenographer may also be present; however, it is becoming increasingly common for the attorneys to record the exchange electronically.
During the proceeding, all parties present may question the deponent, and the witness’s lawyer’s ability to object to a question is limited. Although attorneys cannot coach their clients when it comes to testifying, they can prepare them for the proceedings so the deponent knows what to expect.
If you are planning on filing a personal injury claim against someone who hurt you and you want quality legal guidance during every stage of the proceedings including the deposition, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC. Regardless of how you were injured, our team will assess the situation to find out what kinds of compensation you may be entitled to in a potential settlement. Call 319-393-1020 to schedule a free case evaluation with an injury attorney in Cedar Rapids.
Read on to learn how you can prepare for an upcoming deposition:
- Review What You Know—and What You Don’t
Since testimony during a deposition is taken under oath, it is essential that you tell the truth. Thus, if you truthfully do not know the answer, it is okay to state as much. In fact, answering a question with “I don’t know” will likely contribute to a stronger case than making an assumption and stating it as fact.
For this reason, it is important to be certain of what you do know. What are the facts of the incident, and what kinds of injuries have you been diagnosed with up to this point?
It is also essential to acknowledge what you do not know ahead of time so you are prepared to provide a noncommittal response. For example, if you are unsure of the full extent of your injuries or how they are going to affect your future, make sure you are prepared to state this during the deposition.
- Practice Giving Succinct Answers
A deposition should not feel like a conversation, and our answers should not contain any extraneous information. Talk to your attorney about the kinds of questions you will likely be asked, and then think about how you can answer each one in a single, simple sentence. At the end of the day, you should not volunteer any information that the opposing party does not seek, even if you think there is a chance doing so might strengthen your case.
- Take Care of Your Needs
Undergoing a deposition can be taxing, and preparing for it is often stressful. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the day before the proceedings, and bring some water and a snack to the appointment. During the actual proceedings, do not be afraid to ask for periodic 10-minute breaks to stretch your legs, have a snack, or use the restroom.
If you were hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault and you want to hold the liable party financially accountable, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC. Call 319-393-1020 to schedule a free consultation with an injury lawyer in Cedar Rapids. You can learn more about accident claims in Iowa by visiting USAttorneys.com.