If you have filed a claim against another party for negligence in a car accident, you may be asked to give a deposition.
A deposition is simply a way to get an official statement during a legal proceeding. You may have to give a deposition in a variety of situations, such as if you saw a crime happening, are a character witness, or if you filed a claim against another party for negligence in a car accident.
Some people can be slightly uneasy at this time, mostly because they do not know what to expect, or they fear they may ruin the case in some way. Here’s what you should expect from a deposition.
How They’re Set up
Your deposition can take place in a variety of locations, such as a law firm’s conference room, the court reporter’s office or some other place that’s private. In some cases, you may be asked to provide some documents for the deposition. Ask your St. Louis car accident lawyer if you should or not.
During a deposition, you will have to answer questions presented by the lawyers from the other party, and a court reporter will document the entire meeting. In the end, you may be given a transcript of your statements to review and sign. If you see anything wrong with your statements, you should tell your lawyer. A simple mistake could hurt your claim.
Things to Consider
The process itself is rather simple, and can generally be over fast. Most of your time, however, may be spent preparing for the deposition with your lawyer. This is an essential step, as your lawyer will ask you similar questions with what the other party may ask, and help you prepare an answer.
This is done to minimize any chance of the other party interpreting what you say to their own convenience. Generally speaking, your lawyer will advise you to:
- Give clear answers
- Answer verbally
- Never answer until the lawyer finished asking the question, and wait a second before you answer. Your lawyer may object to certain lines of questioning.
- If instructed by your lawyer not to answer, do not go against their recommendation.
- Answer only what you are asked, and never give additional details or go beyond the question.
- It’s okay to say you don’t know or remember something.
- Review the facts of the case before the deposition. Your lawyer can anticipate some of the other party’s questions, but not all. It’s best you don’t have gaps in your memories.
- Be honest if you don’t understand the question. The lawyer can rephrase or provide further explanations, with no effect on your credibility.
What Should You Do?
You should reach out to a St. Louis auto accident attorney if you have to give a deposition. It’s your legal right to do so, and you won’t seem “more guilty.” Your lawyer can make sure your rights are protected at this time. Reach out to an experienced attorney today at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE consultation.