Most people have seen a fictional version of a deposition while watching a legal drama on television or the movies. These fictional accounts depicted by the entertainment industry often are very different from a real deposition.
If you are injured in a car crash, trucking accident, construction fall or other accident and a lawsuit is filed, it is highly likely that the defendant’s insurance carrier will take your deposition. While a deposition is a semi-formal environment where you are under oath with a court reporter memorializing your answers, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates carefully monitor and control the scope of the questioning at a deposition. We have provided an overview of basic general advice for plaintiffs at a deposition.
- Prepare for a Long Day: Many depositions drag on for hours so you should be prepared to spend an extended period of time at your deposition. This means that you should get plenty of rest the night before because you will need to keep your mind clear and focused while answering many questions.
- Avoid Dishonesty: If you provide misleading or false answers during your deposition, it can seriously damage your legal claim. Because you are under oath, you must avoid telling a lie because it can have serious legal ramifications. The other party’s attorney also may try to use the inconsistency to create a perception that you cannot be trusted to relay the facts.
- Fact Gathering vs. Interrogation: Many people that watch crime dramas presume that depositions are extremely contentious and confrontational. These are part of the discovery process so they are merely a tool for fact gathering. If you are represented by legal counsel, your personal injury attorney can intervene if the other attorney asks inappropriate questions or acts in an abusive manner.
- Appear Professional: Many depositions are videotaped so it is a good idea to dress at least semi-professionally. However, your attorney may have more specific advice about how you should dress for the deposition.
- Pause When Answering: If you are represented by legal counsel at your deposition, your attorney may ask you to pause a beat before answering to allow your attorney an opportunity to object to improper questions. The questions may be improper in terms of the form of the question or the substance of the information being elicited.
- Adhere to Your Personal Injury Attorney’s Advice: Our personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been involved in many depositions so we prepare our clients prior to the deposition. It is important to follow the advice of your personal injury attorney because it will be based on experience from participating in many depositions prior to your own.
- Do Not Guess: If you do not know the answer to a question or lack confidence in your answer, it generally is better to admit that you do not recall or that you are not sure. When you guess at an answer, you risk providing the attorney deposing you with information that contradicts other evidence.
The Georgia personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.