There are many steps in the legal system that the common person doesn’t know. In reality, the court systems are slow and tedious. There is rarely an “Ah-Ha” moment when everything comes together, and your case is settled just before a “commercial break.”
If you are involved in a personal injury case, you may find yourself being required to give a deposition. While this setting is usually held in a conference room instead of a courtroom and there will be fewer people there, it is very much as serious and legally binding as a courtroom.
What Is A Deposition?
A deposition is a legal proceeding that allows attorneys to “depose” a witness and find out what he or she knows. They are sworn in and promise to tell the truth. Usually, the deposition is recorded with video and audio. If the attorney finds something they think is important, the video or audio tapes can be presented in court.
Who Will Be There?
The attorney that is representing the people you are suing will be there. You will be there, and if your family members are involved, they may be in attendance too. Sometimes a deposition officer may attend.
Your attorney will be there too. They are there to guide you and protect you. If you are asked something that is unacceptable, your attorney will step up. They also will ask for clarity if there is something that you do not understand.
Do I Have To Go?
While some people get very nervous about being questioned, you are required to go if ordered. However, there is nothing to be concerned about. Your personal injury attorney will lead you through it. They will prepare you in advance.
What Can I Expect?
Your attorney will give you a list of questions they expect will be asked. He or she will instruct you on how to answer the questions. Generally speaking, you should answer the question honestly and without explanation. If the attorney needs more detail, they will ask you further.
How Long Will The Deposition Take?
You will be given an appointment. Unlike the court, the proceedings will begin promptly. However, it is impossible to know if your deposition will take an hour or several hours. It depends on the case, the people included in the proceedings, and the level of questioning.
What Else Should I Know?
The attorney for the people you are suing has a legal right to have you do a deposition. They may ask questions that you are uncomfortable with. They may come across as pushy and rude. Your personal injury attorney will ensure the opposing lawyer doesn’t cross the line.
It is important that you keep your cool. You must express yourself calmly and without anger. Losing your temper will not help your case. Your goal is to get through the deposition with as little drama as possible.
While a deposition is not exactly a fun day, it is nothing to worry about. As long as you have representation, you will get through it fine. Just be prepared and follow the instructions from your attorney.