Likely, by this point, your personal injury case has moved into a lawsuit and some time has passed when you receive a call from your attorney telling you we need to get some dates and times from you for a deposition that is needed for your case. A deposition you ask? What exactly is that and why is it needed?
In short, depositions are a recorded interview under oath. A court reporter is there, possibly someone taking video and then the attorney for the other party who will be asking you questions about your case. You will be under oath and everything you say could be used against you in court if you need to take it trial so obviously, you must tell the truth. Most good attorneys should and will have a meeting with you to prepare you for what to expect beforehand in order to help you through this step of your case.
Why are Depositions Necessary?
So why is it needed? The other party has the right to speak to you to get the facts of the incident, how it occurred and ask about your injuries. This, unfortunately, is not the time to go into telling your story about the case. It’s only a time to answer the questions and only the questions asked. Don’t volunteer information and keep your answers as short as possible. An “I don’t know” is perfectly acceptable as you are not required to guess.
Another reason for the deposition, which many times is the main reason, is to gauge your credibility and how you will be as a witness if this case must go to trial. Everything is being looked at, body language, expression, etc., so be as courteous as possible, since anything you do or say could be used against you from the deposition and potentially damage your case.
Guidelines to Follow During a Deposition
To keep the deposition as quick as painless as possible make sure you to follow those guidelines and the ones of your attorney and don’t forget to ask for the other attorney to fix the question if you don’t understand it and take time if you need it to answer. This isn’t a race, you want to make sure you are careful with your answers, answer the questions properly and you understood them correctly before you do.
Unfortunately, depositions are a necessary step within any lawsuit and by opening up a lawsuit each side gets to take them to ask questions to help their case.
Ever more frequently, in Texas, a lawsuit is required to obtain fair compensation for the personal injury victim. One of the components of a personal injury lawsuit is the giving of the deposition by the personal injury claimant. Here are the 12 rules for giving a deposition in a personal injury case in Texas.