If you have filed a personal injury claim, the other party's attorneys have the right to depose you. During a deposition, the other lawyers will ask you questions, similar to the questions that you will be asked if your case goes to trial. You are required to answer the questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. This helps the other party's attorneys lock you into a story and determine how credible you will be if your case goes to trial. Unfortunately though, there are many myths out there about depositions. Learning about these myths and the truth surrounding them can help you know what to expect in regards to your deposition.
You Are Not Required to Participate in a Deposition
One of the biggest myths surrounding depositions is that they are optional. This is not the case at all. Sitting for a deposition is required of you, if they other party requests it. If you fail to participate in a deposition, the other party's attorneys can get a judge to order you to participate. If you still fail to do so, you may be found in contempt or there can be negative ramifications for your case.
A Deposition Is Not Important
Another myth surrounding personal injury depositions is that they are not important. At this point in time, you have likely already given a statement about the incident and the circumstances surrounding it. As such, you may feel that the other party has everything they need from you and that a deposition is not important. However, this is not the case. A deposition allows attorneys to get in-depth statements from you and for you to answer their questions. This helps them to prepare for trial. The answers you give can later be used at trial, so it is important to give honest, truthful answers.
Your Attorney Can Help You Answer Questions
The last myth about depositions is that your attorney can help you answer any questions you don't understand or recall the answer to. Your personal injury attorney can sit at the deposition with you and object to questions that are not relevant. However, they cannot help you to answer questions or guide you to an answer. You have to answer the questions on your own. As such, it is important to review any statements you may have previously given and your medical reports so you recall as much accurate information as possible heading into your deposition.
A personal injury attorney can help you to prepare for a deposition and tell you what to expect. If you have been served with a notice that you are required to sit down for a deposition, always consult with a personal injury attorney, like one from Distefano Law PLC, prior to your deposition date so you will be ready and prepared.