When you are involved in an accident and are working with an attorney on a legal case, you may be asked to give a deposition. Most people have heard the term, but not everyone knows what it means.
A deposition is your oral testimony. It is given under oath and is documented by a court reporter. The opposing attorney in the case will ask questions and you will answer them. There is no judge or jury present during the deposition. The only people allowed to be there are the lawyers, the witness, the court reporter, and a representative of each party.
The testimony is typed up after the deposition is concluded and is available for use by either side at the trial. After the deposition is completed, you may request an opportunity to review a typed copy of your testimony for corrections. You will then have about a week to review it, sign it and return it.
The deposition is a formal process, even if it may seem relatively informal. The goal is to provide accurate and truthful information about your case without offering additional information that the attorney did not ask for.
You should be prepared to discuss the nature of the incident and all of your injuries. When you arrive for a deposition, the goal is to present only the facts, not opinions, assumptions, or any information outside of the questions the opposing counsel will ask.
The opposing side is taking your deposition for several reasons:
- They want to find out what facts you know regarding the issues in the lawsuit.
- They are interested in hearing your story prior to trial.
- They want to look at you, observe your manner of answering questions, and form an impression of the type of witness you will be in court.
Before you participate in any deposition, you will want to consult with your attorney. Your attorney will most likely provide advice regarding how you should respond to questions. You are always required to tell the truth, but you are only required to answer the questions you are asked. It is up to the opposing attorney to ask the right questions. You do not have to offer additional information that is not asked of you.
David Van Sant is an Atlanta personal injury attorney who works with clients who have been injured in an accident. If you need an attorney, contact Mr. Van Sant. He will work with you not only to prepare you for your deposition, but to represent your case if it goes to trial. His goal is to help accident victims. For more information, contact Mr. Van Sant today.