Tips on How to Prepare For Your Personal Injury Deposition

October 30, 2012

Auto Accidents

personal injury deposition Say you’ve been in a car accident.  You have a massive amount of medical bills, damage to your vehicle and lost wages.  You decide that the task of dealing with an insurance company is too cumbersome, so you hire an Ohio personal injury attorney.  An insurance claim has been filed, bills and records have been retrieved, and negotiations have begun.  Problem is, they’re going nowhere – your attorney made a reasonable demand and the insurance company won’t budge.  The next step is a lawsuit, and the discovery process is soon to follow.  Counsel for the insurance company requests to take your deposition.

You’ve got two burning questions:  What is a deposition and how do I prepare for it?

A deposition is essentially out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for later use in court or for discovery purposes.  Typically, the statement will be signed by the deponent after being taken in the presence of attorneys who can make objections to deposition questions.  If you haven’t already done so, the first key piece of advice is to contact a personal injury attorney.  In some cases, depositions can contain numerous, complex questions designed to elicit damaging information from you.  Only a skilled personal injury attorney can prepare you for a deposition properly.

Some other pieces of advice to prepare for a personal injury deposition include:

–  Take your time and think before answering a question.  A fully-informed, well thought-out response is the best way to answer a deposition question.  This also gives your attorney time to make an objection, if necessary.

–  Do not try to be proactive during a deposition – answers only the questions you are asked.  Giving more information than necessary can help the other party retrieve information that they did not prepare to receive.

– Do not argue with the opposing attorney, and do not try to argue your case while being questioned.

– If you need a break, request one.  However, be mindful of what you are discussing during the break, as opposing counsel may be listening.

– Make sure to always discuss answers to possible questions with your personal injury lawyer in detail.  It is essential that you get advice on how to answer questions about your injury. Be prepared to answer questions asking you to describe your pain, the level of the pain you were/are in, whether it is continuous or sparse, and the locality of your issues.

–  Also, review relevant times, dates and facts with respect to your case.  While you are not required to remember things, it is best to refresh your recollection with respect to specific details.

–  Above all, tell the truth. Nothing will reduce your credibility more than if you are not honest while being deposed.  Tell only what you know – if you do not know the answer to a question, then saying “I do not know” is completely acceptable.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury and are dealing with an insurance company, you should speak to an Ohio personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  To receive a free consultation from attorneys experienced in Ohio personal injury law, automobile accidents and damage to personal property, contact the law firm of Slater and Zurz at 330-762-0700 or toll free 1-800-297-9191.  You can also visit slaterzurz.com for more information and to schedule a free consultation.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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