Just the idea of being deposed in preparation for litigation can be an intimidating prospect. While most personal injury cases end in a settlement prior to the need for litigation to begin, it does happen and plaintiffs should be prepared for this possibility. Once a lawsuit is filed, pretrial preparations will be underway and that means discovery. Discovery is the time before trial where both sides have opportunities to go on fact-finding missions to learn as much about the case as possible. Part of discovery is deposing relevant parties and witnesses that are relevant to the case. As plaintiff, you will be deposed by opposing counsel, who is likely to be the attorney representing the insurance company. To help ease your nervousness about the deposition and to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible, preparation is essential.
Preparing for your Deposition
At your deposition, your attorney will be present as well as opposing counsel and a stenographer who will be recording the proceeding. As you prepare for your deposition, consider dressing neatly in either a suit or a dress. How you present yourself at the deposition will matter a great deal. Opposing counsel will be evaluating how you would be viewed by a jury and whether you would make a compelling and credible witness at trial.
This is also why it is important to reserve any anger or frustration you may be feeling at your deposition. The personal injury process can be lengthy and full of frustrations, but now is not the time to vent your grievances as it could end up hurting you and your claim in the long run. Cooperative people with a good attitude tend to do better with juries and opposing counsel knows this. A good presentation of yourself at the deposition can even push towards a settlement prior to trial.
The heart of the deposition is, of course, the series of questions and answers. Your answers play a central role in the fact-finding mission opposing counsel is on during the discovery process. This is why the majority of your deposition prep will involve preparing concise, direct, and accurate answers to as many as the potential questions you will be asked by opposing counsel as possible. The questions will relate to the accident itself, your injuries, your treatment, and how your injuries have impacted your life, among other things. Be prepared to answer only the question that is asked. Keep your answers short and to the point. Wandering off-topic can be dangerous and provide opposing counsel with unintended ammunition to weaken your claim.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
At Compass Law Group, our personal injury team will be by your side every step of the process. Should the insurance company refuse to offer a reasonable settlement amount on your claim, we are fully prepared to file suit and take your case all the way to the courtroom. We fight to help ensure you are properly compensated for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.