Don't Sweat It During Your Deposition
It is quite possible that you will be deposed as you pursue your personal injury lawsuit. Depositions are a crucial part of the legal process and it is natural to be apprehensive about how the deposition will be conducted and what you can expect. While you may have visions of metal tables in smoke filled rooms illuminated by floodlights, the reality is much more relaxed. Before your deposition, your civil attorney will help prepare you for the meeting. They will also guide and protect you throughout the deposition so that you can stay comfortable and relaxed.
The Purpose of Depositions
Depositions provide an opportunity to gather the statements of witnesses, the plaintiff(s), and the defendant(s). It is part of the discovery process and allows attorneys to record testimony and gather facts. Because depositions are conducted under oath, the information that is shared can be presented during the trial. Everything that is said or shared during a deposition should be considered "on the record."
Staying Calm, Collected, and on Course
Tell the Truth - It helps to think of a deposition as nothing more than a discussion. Admittedly, it's a conversation where you must watch your words carefully. Because you will be under oath, you can be subject to perjury charges and criminal sanctions if you don't tell the truth. Thus, it's crucial to be honest and professional with all of your answers.
Think First, Speak Second - Always consider the question and think over your answer before you speak. This will help ensure you don't overshare information and the process of thinking over your answer can help you stay relaxed and focused. It also gives your attorney an opportunity to object to the question if it is inapplicable or irrelevant to the lawsuit.
Keep It Short and Sweet - Your answers should be short, sweet, and to the point. "Yes," "no," "maybe," and "I don't know" are perfectly acceptable answers in a deposition. Unless otherwise required to explain a process or procedure, be very careful volunteering information that opposing counsel can use to sink your claim. Under no circumstances should you ever guess an answer or let opposing counsel put words in your mouth.
Sloat & Nicholson, P.C. can help you pursue compensation for a personal injury claim in Colorado. Contact us at (800) 873-3202 and a civil attorney will review your case and explain your legal options to you.