Depositions

Some cases require a sworn statement about the facts of a person's accident or injury. When the opposing counsel requests to ask a defendant, plaintiff, or witness certain questions about the case, it usually takes place in a deposition. A deposition, simply put, is a person's statement about facts that will be argued in the trial. It is conducted during the discovery period of a case so that both sides can prepare for trial. 

This page is an overview of the deposition process for those who will soon experience it. Your trial lawyer at the Coye Law Firm knows the common concerns that come with attending a deposition. They will prepare you with useful advice for the meeting in order to put you at ease and make the testimony work for your case. If you have questions regarding an upcoming deposition, call our offices today to review what you need.

Deposition Overview

During the discovery process of a case, counsels can schedule a deposition of the opposing party. A deposition is a series of questions that an attorney or other legal professional asks in order to sort out the facts of the claim. The person who answers the questions, call the deponent, needs to answer truthfully because they are under oath and the deposition transcript is a legal document. 

The deposition meeting can occur in any professional setting, but it usually occurs in an attorney's or court reporter's office. Depositions can be conducted during the course of many cases, most notably personal injury and workers' compensation claims.

Deposition Do's and Don'ts

Reasons for Deposition

There are many reasons why opposing counsel would want to take a person's deposition. Some of them are to:
  • find out facts you know related to the trial
  • anticipate what you will say under oath
  • verify the truth
  • determine the vital parts of your case

Personal Injury Deposition

If your personal injury claim isn't resolved in the pre-suit process, you and your attorney might decide that filing a lawsuit is necessary to help you claim benefits for your injuries or damages. Depositions are a standard part of the personal injury lawsuit procedure. In the course of a car accident claim, for example, you may have to answer questions about your driving history, your personal life, and your injuries. Before your statement is taken in a deposition, you may have to answer questions, called interrogatories, sent by the opposing counsel. They are basic questions that should match your answers in the deposition, so answer truthfully throughout the personal injury lawsuit process.

Workers' Compensation Deposition

Injured workers often have to take part in a deposition because, unfortunately, their injuries are disputed during many cases. The workers' compensation insurance carrier is the opposing counsel in these cases, and they'll ask many questions to the employee trying to claim benefits. These questions can be about employment history, education, physical abilities, and the employee's personal life. Your workers compensation lawyer at the Coye Law Firm will prepare you for the deposition, but reviewing common questions in a workers comp deposition can help a lot also.

People at the Deposition

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may meet with many people at your deposition. Of course, you will need to be there. The opposing counsel, your attorney, and a court reporter need to be there as well. If the defendant wants to be present, they can be. If you have any objections to this, bring it up with your attorney well before the deposition.

Because depositions are so important, clients often feel nervous about giving them, which can lead to incorrect or confusing answers. If you are going through a deposition, it is crucial to remember the following points:
  • Do not lie. You will most likely be caught and your case can be thrown out if the opposing counsel ruins your credibility in court.
  • Listen to the question carefully and ask the person to clarify if you don't understand it. Some questions are specifically designed to confuse you and lead you to lie even if you don't mean to.
  • Do not guess at answers if you aren't 100% sure of them. If you estimate or guess, the opposing counsel can allege that you are lying.
  • Answer the question completely, but don't volunteer information past what the question is answering. For example, if you are asked "where did you go to lunch last Wednesday?" say, "a small cafe around the corner," but you don't need to include "with my sister for about 45 minutes."
You don't need to bring anything with you unless you are specifically instructed. Also, you don't need to "study" for a deposition; simply try to remember names, dates, locations, or other answers. You have the right to talk to your attorney during the deposition. If you need advice on how to answer the question, keep this in mind. The best advice is to be calm, truthful, and accurate in your answers. If your case is strong, you have nothing to worry about. 

An attorney at the Coye Law Firm will do everything they can to prepare you for a deposition. As an experienced personal injury and workers' compensation law firm, the Coye Law Firm knows what common tactics that the opposing counsel will use. Call our offices today to discuss your concerns about an upcoming deposition.