Tips On How To Prepare For A Deposition For A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Depositions are an important part of the personal injury lawsuit process. If you are a witness to an accident in which someone was hurt in an accident, and the injured person decides to sue the person who caused the accident for damages, you will most likely be requested to be deposed in front of the litigant's and defendant's attorneys. Here is how can prepare yourself for a deposition.

Make Notes

Once you learn you are going to be a participant in a lawsuit, you should write down everything you can remember about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. You might know right away at the accident if there aren't any noticeable injuries – some injuries, like whiplash, won't necessarily become apparent for several days, and you might not know you're going to be a witness until you receive a summons to appear in court. You want to remember what happened so you can answer the lawyer's questions as honestly and completely as you can. Writing down what occurred helps you to focus on the accident and remember important details.

The Deposition

You will be asked questions by lawyers representing the principals in the case. The lawyers will be looking at a number of things to determine how credible of a witness you are, and how well you can help, or hurt, their client. The first thing they will consider is the impression they think you'll have on the jury and judge. You should make sure you dress well for the deposition, and that you are well-groomed. Like it or not, the jury's impression of you will have an effect on how they will decide the outcome of the trial – if you come across as a person who is taking the process seriously, the jury and judge will trust what you say more than if you appear disheveled and uninterested in the whole process.

Answer all questions to the best of your ability, but refrain from embellishing your answers or stating something that you're not sure is true. Saying "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable response to questions you don't know the answer to – even if a lawyer keeps on trying to rephrase the question to get you to provide an answer, you should still answer that you don't know.

The deposition can last for several hours during which the lawyers will watch how you act and respond to questions. If you are worried about well you will do, consult with the lawyers representing the side who asked you to appear as a witness and see if they will do a mock deposition to help prepare you for the real thing. For more information, contact a personal injury attorney in your area like The Law Offices of David B. Shapiro.