How Do You Know if Your Deposition Went Well?
Once a personal injury lawsuit is filed, you will likely be required to attend a deposition. A deposition may seem nerve-racking because an attorney will be asking questions that can later be used in the case. However, having an experienced attorney from The Bruner Law Firm on your side can help. Your lawyer can prepare you for the questions that may be asked and provide feedback on how the deposition went once it’s done.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is an interview taken under oath after a lawsuit has been filed with the court. During a deposition, opposing counsel will ask a variety of questions that you are required to answer while a court reporter transcribes the entire interview.
An experienced attorney will provide feedback on how they believe the deposition went or if a follow-up deposition may be requested. For example, your deposition likely went well if the following occurred:
You waited to answer the questions: During a deposition, stress levels may be high, and as a result, your mind may be racing, but that doesn’t mean you should guess what the opposing attorney means. If you waited for the attorney to finish the question before you began to answer, that’s a good sign. If you didn’t understand a question and asked the attorney to clarify what they were asking, that was appropriate. If you waited until you fully understood the questions before answering, that is a sign that your deposition likely went well.
You were honest: During a deposition, you should always remain truthful. A deposition is under oath, so anything said during the deposition can be used at any stage of the lawsuit, such as during motions to dismiss or at trial. Even a small lie can negatively impact your case, and your credibility can be ruined if you are dishonest during your deposition. If you are fearful that answering a question will harm your case, an experienced attorney will understand how to handle the negative information. If you answered all questions truthfully, your deposition probably went well.
You only responded to the question being asked: Some attorneys will use a broad question to see what information the deponent will provide if they’re given free rein. As a result, it is important to only answer the question being asked because you do not want to give the opposing party more information than they are seeking. If they fail to ask important questions, that is their failure and likely your benefit, don’t give the information freely. If you didn’t answer unasked questions, your deposition probably went well.
You didn’t speculate: It is okay if you do not know the answer to a question being asked. Sometimes your memory is fuzzy, and the opposing counsel may use evidence to try to jog your memory. It is best to allow the opposing counsel to try and introduce other evidence to prove the point they are trying to make instead of speculating on the information. For example, if the lawsuit is dealing with a car accident and the attorney asked if it was sunny, cloudy, or raining at the time of the accident, all you can remember is that it wasn’t raining. It is okay to say, “It was not raining, but I cannot remember if it was sunny or cloudy.” Speculating can make you look dishonest if you later remember and change your testimony at trial, so it is best to just say I do not know when you are unsure. If you took that approach, your deposition probably went well.
You remained calm: Depositions can be extremely stressful. Keeping your composure is important, with a bunch of people in a room looking at you and taking notes while you are being asked personal questions. You do not want opposing counsel to steer the conversation in a direction that is preferential to them and makes you look combative. You can take as long as you need to answer a question, and if you are getting overly emotional or frazzled, you can usually request a short break to compose yourself and use the restroom. If you remained calm, you probably did well.
If you remember and did all these things during your deposition, your deposition will likely be successful.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident or are being subpoenaed for a deposition, you will want an experienced attorney fighting for your best interests. The sooner you contact a Florida personal injury attorney from The Bruner Law Firm, the sooner we can begin preparing for the deposition. The skilled attorneys of The Bruner Law Firm have an excellent track record of effectively fighting for their clients. Call us today at (850) 243-2222 or contact us online for a free consultation.