What You Need to Know About Depositions
If were the victim of an car accident, an auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD friends or associates recommend you hire may have told you you’ll need to face a deposition. The attorneys at Cohen & Cohen have represented many clients who are deposed as plaintiffs in personal injury cases. In addition to being experienced trial attorneys, our legal team has a strong record of negotiating to get our clients the settlements they deserve.
If you are seeking representation and would like to speak to one of our attorneys, call Cohen & Cohen to schedule a free consultation. If your injury prevents you from visiting our office, we may be able to meet you in your hospital room. An experienced auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD offers can fully address your questions and concerns regarding your personal injury case. If you anticipate facing a deposition in the near future, the following information may be helpful to you.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is an opportunity for the defendant’s lawyer to ask you questions outside of a courtroom. Your Greenbelt MD auto accident lawyer will also be present. The other lawyer’s questions and your answers will be recorded by a stenographer, or court reporter.
What is the purpose of a deposition?
Depositions allow the attorney of the negligent driver to find out what you know about the auto accident. He or she will also want to know about the extent of your injury. By having this information, the other attorney can make a more informed decision about whether or not to settle out of court, or take the case to trial. Your auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD drivers recommended can tell you if and when you may have to face a deposition.
What questions will the other attorney ask?
With your auto accident lawyer in Greenbelt MD beside you, the plaintiff’s lawyer may ask any of the following questions:
- What is your name, date of birth, residing address, education level, and current employer?
- How did the car accident happen?
- Have you had any previous injuries in the same area of the body as your injury from the auto accident? (You should have already given this information to your auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD accident victims rated highly.)
- Have you suffered the same injury in the past?
- What medical treatments have you received since getting injured?
- Did you go to the hospital to receive treatment for your injury?
- How much work have you lost as a result of your injury?
- How has this injury affected your day-to-day activities?
Ten Tips on Giving a Deposition
If you’ve never been deposed before, you may be nervous and unsure of what to do. This is natural, but depositions are a common part of the legal process, as an auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD provides could attest. You have no reason to fear that the other lawyer will verbally attack you. If you are represented you won’t be alone — an auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD residents trust will be present. A deposition is simply a series of questions and answers. To help your case, focus on doing the following:
- Dress as if you are going to a job interview. Seeing that you will make a good physical impression on a jury, the defense lawyer may be less interested in going to trial, and more likely to negotiate a settlement.
- Take your time when answering, and consider your answer before saying it out loud. Once you have stated your answer, it becomes part of the legal record. An auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD commuters turn to for legal assistance will encourage you to be mindful of what you say.
- Keep your answers brief. Aim to keep each answer no longer than a sentence. The longer the answer, the more likely you are to give the other lawyer too much information.
- Stay truthful. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t guess. Simply explain that you don’t know, or do not remember. If you are having trouble recalling an answer, ask the attorney to come back to the question later on.
- Do not volunteer information.
- When you need to take a break, let them know. Depositions can be long and exhausting. It’s a good idea to take a light snack and water or juice with you to the deposition. To help you stay alert, be sure to stop when necessary, even if it’s just to stretch your legs. An auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD clients respect will have no issues with letting you take short breaks.
- If you don’t fully understand a question, ask for clarification. Legal professionals often use words and phrases that not everyone understands, unless they’re a lawyer. You may have to request that the attorney ask the question a different way.
- You may be asked a question that is meant to get a “yes” or “no” answer. You can still answer with, “Not that I remember” or “I don’t recall” or “Yes, to the best of my memory.” These types of answers can be especially true if your accident was not recent, or for questions that reach far into the past.
- If the defense attorney asks you a question in reference to a medical record or a report of some kind, ask to see the document. This can help jog your memory and put their question into proper context. If they show you and you don’t remember, say that you don’t remember. A record or report does not guarantee that the information in the report is accurate or correct.
- Prior to attending the deposition, review your medical records from before the auto accident. Your own attorney should have those records and can show them to you. If you’ve had any injuries similar to what you suffered in the car accident, discuss them with your attorney. The defense attorney will likely have these records as well, and might ask you questions about prior injuries. By reviewing your medical records, you can refresh your mind about the details and answer questions accurately.
If you are a victim of a personal injury from an auto accident that was not your fault, you may be asked to participate in a legal deposition. Knowing what to expect during the deposition can greatly reduce your anxiety, and having a trusted attorney by your side can make all the difference. The attorneys of Cohen & Cohen have represented more than 10,000 personal injury victims. Our legal team has recovered more than $100 million for our clients. If you’d like to have an auto accident lawyer Greenbelt MD injury victims have relied on for two decades, call Cohen & Cohen today.