You may not know a whole lot about depositions, but they are a very important part of any injury case. You may think about an injury case as a giant puzzle. All the pieces need to be there in order for you to gain the maximum recovery possible. Well, depositions are a very important part of that puzzle.
What Is a Deposition?
Simply, a deposition is where the other side’s attorney gets an opportunity to ask you questions under oath. There is no judge, no jury and typically none of the theatrics you may think goes on in normal court proceedings. Most depositions are conversational in style and are taken down by a court reporter who types each and every word that is said. Sometimes, the lawyer may ask to video the deposition or to have it recorded on audio. These depositions are then used later on in the proceedings to find out more information, and potentially to be used at trial if your testimony is different there than it is in the deposition. Depositions are used by both plaintiffs and defendants during the course of the case.
Important Deposition Tips
Here are some important tips to keep in mind when preparing for a deposition. Firstly, always tell the truth. This seems obvious. But sometimes people get nervous or they get upset and they may not want to disclose potentially embarrassing facts. It’s important to overcome that and realize that the truth is the most important aspect of your case.
Secondly, answer only the question that is asked. You are only required to provide a truthful answer to the question that you are asked. There is no need to expound upon the answer unless you’re specifically asked to do so.
Thirdly, if you don’t remember or don’t know an answer to a question it is perfectly okay to say that. In fact, it is far better to say you don’t know or don’t remember then to say the wrong piece of information and have to correct it later!
Fourth, you will have an opportunity to go over your deposition once it is finished. This is done to make sure that there are no errors or differences in what the court reporter said from what you actually said.
Prior to the deposition, you will be prepared by your lawyer who will walk you through each step of the process and get you ready for what to expect. Depositions are really painless procedures, but hold great importance and significance in your case.
At Elrod Pope Law Firm, we have dozens of years of experience handling many depositions on behalf of our clients. We know what it takes to get prepared and we know what it takes to use this important tool effectively. In you have been injured in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact our Rock Hill auto accident injury lawyers right away. We will be there for you every step of the way!
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.