How to prepare for your personal injury litigation and deposition questions:
If you have been involved in an accident involving injury and plan to seek compensation through legal remedies, you can almost certainly expect to be questioned at some point during the process. This can make some people feel a bit nervous, especially if you've never been in a courtroom or given a deposition before.
In order to help you feel more at ease, we've put together this page to better prepare you for the type of questions you may be facing.
Personal Injury Deposition Basics:
Most depositions are held in the office of the attorney for the Plaintiff. In some cases, depositions are also held at the law office of the defendant(s). During the deposition, your attorney will be present, along with any attorneys for the defendant(s).
Depositions are usually recorded via video and audio means, and later transcribed. If you provide answers on a deposition, you are permitted to submit an errata sheet - this gives you an opportunity to review the deposition and add any clarification or note any issues which then gets attached to the transcription.
You will need to speak clearly and concisely in order for the recording equipment to get a good capture, and it is important that you don't speak over anyone. Wait for the question, and then give your answer after a brief pause. Your attorney may want to object to a question as well, and will do so before you answer - or as you start to answer if you do so before they have a chance to object.
The defense attorney questioning you will also be judging you as a potential witness as you're answering the questions. It is extremely important that you answer each question truthfully and as complete as possible. If you don't know the answer to a question, then you just say "I don't know", which is a perfectly fine and acceptable answer. I don't recall is also a good answer. You want to avoid any speculation as this could lead to bad answers that could end up hurting your claim.
What kind of questions will I be asked about my personal injury?
After the initial introduction and a few ground rules are established, the beginning questions will typically start by asking for you to state your name, spell it for the record, and perhaps provide a few additional details such as employment, education, and other details about your personal history such as where you've lived and where you were born.
During the questioning related specifically to your personal injury claim, you'll be asked to provide as many details relating to the events that happened. Some attorneys may ask questions out of sequence or jump around, but generally you'll be expected to provide a timeline of events. The attorney will ask you to provide any additional details you may have about certain answers you've given.
You will also need to recall any witnesses and what they saw, and provide details of how the situation occurred in your opinion, and how it was handled as well as what happened since the accident.
Were you taken to a hospital, for example? Are you undergoing or have you undergone any additional therapy or long term treatment and care? What expenses have you incurred as a result of the accident? Did you miss any time from work? What other losses have you incurred?
New injuries can also lead to exacerbating old injuries, and as a result, you may be asked if you've ever had any previous injuries that could be worsened by a new injury. Have you ever filed a personal injury lawsuit before? Is loss of income or benefits and the cost of caring for yourself included in your claim?
You may feel some of the questions are a bit intrusive or meaningless, and that's typical. But the attorney questioning you was not there as a witness, and they need to gather as much information as possible. Some questions may even seem offensive, but generally the attorney questioning you will inform you that is not their intent, they just need to be clear for the record.
Your attorney will certainly look after your best interests and object whenever necessary.
Preparing for your personal injury deposition:
Prior to taking the deposition, your attorney will help you prepare by providing the details such as date, time, location, what to wear, and who will be present. They may also make time to bring you in to go over a few questions and answers in order to make sure you don't miss any important details that need to go on the record.
Certain documents may also be requested which would be used to help strengthen and build your case. Any medical records, payment receipts, photographs of your injury or the location or even the scene at the time are all very helpful.
If your lawyer feels any document requests from the defense are intrusive or unattainable, they will object.
During the deposition, just remember to stay calm, wait for the question before you give your answer, make sure you answer truthfully, completely, and speak clearly. You won't be able to find out all of the questions you're being asked, but the above outline is a general idea of what you can expect.
The Tampa personal injury lawyers at Fernandez Law Group provide strong legal representation for many types personal injury cases involving medical errors, malpractice and negligence, wrongful death, workplace injuries, disabling injuries, auto accidents, toxic exposure, and more. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you end up suffering from these types of injuries, do not hesitate to look for a lawyer.
When looking for a Tampa personal injury lawyer be sure to visit the legal team at Fernandez Law Group to see how our attorneys can help you win your case - not just one attorney - but multiple attorneys working together for you at no additional cost. Consultations are always free and we don't receive any compensation from you until we win.
Call or Text us today at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation and case evaluation.
Content authored by Frank Fernandez