What to Expect in a Personal Injury Deposition
Hi, I’m attorney Jake Kimball at Springs Law Group. Today I want to talk to you about what you can expect in a personal injury lawsuit deposition.
First, the location. It will typically take place in the office of your own attorney in a conference room in which you will have present your own attorney, the opposing attorney, and a court reporter. The court reporter’s job is to take down everything that is said on the record.
You will be first you will be sworn in, at which point the opposing attorney will first ask you questions. He or she will ask you questions that may sound a lot like what you would see maybe in a courtroom, except perhaps a little bit more boring. You will be expected to answer the question truthfully, because you are under oath. And if there are objections to their attorney’s questions, your own attorney will make those objections on the record. However, because there is no judge present, the record will just reflect that an objection was made to that question. If there’s an issue later, the judge can rule on that objection after reviewing the deposition transcript.
So, you will be asked questions. If it’s personal injury, you can expect to be asked about how the accident actually occurred. It’s usually a step-by-step chronological approach, but they don’t have to go in order if they don’t want to.
You’re going to be expected to talk about the injuries that you believe you sustained in the accident, and the treatment associated with those injuries. And they’re also going to go into an injury history, especially if it’s related to body parts that were injured in the subject accident. You can expect that a good deal of time will be spent going over your own injury history prior to the accident.
So, for example, for the neck injury, did you have any other prior neck injuries? Or do you have any other prior auto accidents? How are those neck injuries resolved? Were they still hurting at the time of the accident? That kind of thing. You can also expect questions about how your injuries progressed through treatment if they’re ongoing and that sort of thing. Also, if you’re making a lost wages claim, the questions will also include a lot of background questions about your own job, the physical requirements of your job, the restrictions imposed by doctors, and that sort of thing.
They can also ask you questions about your own personal history and background. In personal injury litigation, it’s very important to have a solid understanding of you as an individual. How are you going to appear to a jury? Are you married? Do you have children? What’s your history in the community? That sort of thing? Because all those things build your own credibility, the other attorney is going to want to know.
That attorney is also reporting back to the insurance company on what they find in the deposition. Are you a good witness? Are you a bad witness? Are you going to appear like you’re lying to the jury? Are you going to appear truthful? Are you well groomed? Do you have a giant facial tattoo that is going to turn off a jury? Those kinds of things all factor into the value of your case. The other attorney wants to know about those things.
The length of your deposition is going to vary. If you’re being deposed because you caused an auto accident, then your deposition is going to be a lot shorter than somebody who isn’t doing a deposition while making a claim for personal injuries. They’ve got to go through all that medical history, and all that sort of thing. You can also expect questions on future treatment. Are you going to need surgery? Are your injuries all better? Or do you expect that down the road, you’re going to keep needing to go to chiropractors and physical therapists or take medication? All of that is going to be covered in your deposition.
Once the opposing attorney has finished all of his or her questions, then your own attorney has an opportunity to follow up with questions. This is if your own attorney feels it’s necessary, and it’s not always necessary. Sometimes, maybe you have answered something in a confusing way that your own attorney wants to clarify, or some things were left out that they feel were necessary. That’s usually a strategic question your attorney feels they need to ask.
And then, once your own attorney is done, the opposing attorney can follow up on any of the issues that were addressed by your own attorney. You don’t redo the deposition. But on those topics, those subject matters, those issues that were raised by your own attorney, the other attorney gets a chance to follow up and learn more about those things. Once your deposition is over, the court reporter will prepare a transcript, which usually will take a week or two, and then send that usually to your own attorney.
Then your attorney will give it to you to review, and you review it for errors. Are there any errors where the court reporter misunderstood what you said? Did they misspell a name? That kind of thing. And you will put that into what’s called an errata sheet which your attorney will give you. Then that’s turned in, and the importance of that is because you are under oath. This deposition transcript can be used against you, so it is important to have an accurate record. So that’s what you can expect in a personal injury deposition. Obviously, we could probably talk for an hour about this kind of issue because there are very many variations depending on the type of case that you’re involved in. But if you have questions about it, please give us a call at the Springs Law Group at 194217141, and we’d be happy to see if we can help you out with your own deposition. Thank you.
Don’t wait to get in touch with a Colorado Springs personal injury attorney if you have a deposition to do in a personal injury claim. Get the legal assistance you need right away to ensure that you receive the settlement you are entitled to. A deposition can be a tricky thing to navigate. You may contact us right away for additional information or visit our website for more details.
Feel free to check out these links: