In a perfect world, after you’ve been injured in a car accident, the insurance companies would handle all the bills connected to accidents without giving you any hassle. The problem is that the world isn’t perfect, and sometimes insurance companies question whether you’re entitled to a settlement. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for the settlement you deserve.
The simple truth is that if you’ve sustained an injury as the result of another person’s negligence, you are allowed to seek compensation for your injuries. You shouldn’t have to foot all the medical and other expenses on your own.
The problem is that many insurance companies dispute the claim or try to offer a low settlement. When this happens, you’ll have to take legal action. Once you’ve filed a personal injury civil case against the insurance company, you’ll need to prepare for a deposition.
What is a Deposition?
The Legal Dictionary defines a deposition as a,
“testimony that’s taken orally, with an attorney asking questions and the deponent (the individual being questioned) answering while a court reporter or tape recorder (or sometimes both) records the testimony. Deposition testimony is generally taken under oath, and the court reporter and the deponent often sign affidavits attesting to the accuracy of the subsequent printed transcript.”
What is the Purpose of a Deposition?
Depositions most commonly take place during civil lawsuits and are extremely common during contentious personal injury cases. They are considered a discovery tool that helps both sides put together evidence that will be used if the case can’t be settled out of court.
When Does a Deposition Take Place?
Depositions are generally scheduled long before a case would go to court but after the two sides of the personal injury claim have exchanged requests for specific documents and evidence lists that pertain to the case.
How to Handle a Deposition
Personal injury depositions can be stressful and exhausting and knowing that your settlement depends on it going well doesn’t make the situation any easier. The good news is that there are five things you can do that will help you handle your deposition.
Familiarize Yourself with the Accident
Yes, you lived through the accident and probably think you can remember every detail. However, a lot of time has passed. As soon as you find out a deposition has been scheduled, pull out all of your copies of the documentation surrounding your personal injury case and go over it. Items you should review a few times before your deposition include:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Insurance policies
- Photographs of Injuries and Vehicle Damage
Reviewing everything connected to your personal injury case make it possible for you to accurately and quickly questions. It’s always best to review with an honest and reputable car accident attorney to ensure you’re on the right track.
Each time you’re asked a question, answer it as honestly as you possibly can. If you don’t know what the correct answer is, or if your memory about the incident is a little too cloudy to remember the specific details of the accident, it’s okay. It’s better to be honest, even if you’re simply saying you don’t know or can’t recall than to get caught in a lie that could both hurt your claim and result in your facing perjury charges.
Listen Carefully to the Questions You’re Being Asked
Each time you’re asked a question, pay careful attention to exactly what you’re being asked. You’re allowed to spend a few seconds processing the words and making sure that it wasn’t worded in such a way as to prompt you into saying something that could jeopardize your case.
Keep Your Answers Short
Yes, you have to answer each question you’re asked during the deposition. Yes, you’re required to provide honest answers. What you’re not required to do is provide any more information than necessary to answer the question. Whenever possible, stick to short, yes/no type answers. The more information you provide each time you answer, the greater the likelihood becomes that you could accidentally say something that could harm your personal injury case.
Arrange a practice deposition session with your lawyer or one of their assistants. The practice session not only allows you to better understand how a deposition works, but also provides you with information about the types of questions you’ll be asked during the deposition. The most important thing you’ll learn during the practice session is how to provide accurate but short answers to questions.
The more relaxed you are during the deposition, the better. Don’t forget to breathe and use your best relaxation techniques while you’re answering questions. Not only will staying relaxed keep the deposition from becoming unbearably stressful, but it also helps you provide honest, rational answers to questions.
Are you involved in a personal injury claim in Colorado and not getting very far? Contact the Springs Law Group and learn what steps we’ll take to help you get the settlement you deserve.