How You Know if Your Deposition Went Well
Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022 at 8:55 pm
You go through multiple stages during a personal injury lawsuit. Discovery is an essential portion of the process. It allows attorneys from opposing sides to request evidence from each other. They can review the information to determine how to improve their case and argue against the other’s case.
Taking someone’s deposition is one aspect of a personal injury lawsuit. It is a question-and-answer session an attorney conducts with a party to the incident. Either lawyer can depose a plaintiff, defendant, expert witness, eyewitness, and anyone else who can address the facts of the case.
How to Give a Successful Deposition
You must answer the defense lawyer’s questions accurately and honestly. Keep your responses brief and stick to information related to the question. Deponents often make the mistake of saying more than they should. You might say something damaging to your case if you get nervous and offer more details than necessary.
If you want your deposition to go well, follow these tips:
- Request clarification – You can ask opposing counsel to repeat the question or explain the type of answer they seek. Your response will likely be inaccurate or irrelevant to the topic at hand if you don’t understand the question. Asking for clarification is better than guessing the nature of the question and providing unnecessary details that might benefit the defense lawyer’s case.
- Don’t talk too much – Sitting in a deposition can be uncomfortable and stressful. Feeling the need to fill awkward silences is common. However, you should avoid rambling. Stop talking once you answer the question. If you continue because you think you have to explain your answer, you will likely reveal information the attorney can use to ask more questions.
- Tell the truth – When you are under oath, your testimony must be factual. Although you might think lying could be helpful to your case, it can lead to serious consequences. It also reveals that your character may be dishonest. Opposing counsel can argue your credibility in court.
- Remain calm – You must keep your composure no matter what. The defense lawyer might try to upset or anger you during your deposition. It’s a tactic that can work in their favor. Answering questions correctly is challenging when you feel stressed. Stay calm and think about how to phrase your responses carefully.
- Don’t speculate or offer your opinion – Depositions require facts. You should never give an opinion about what you think happened or speculate about certain details. You might remember conflicting information later, but changing your story will indicate you lied.
If you remembered these tips, your deposition probably went well.
A court reporter attends a deposition to record what everyone says. They will compile a transcript for opposing parties to review after the deposition concludes. Each lawyer will read the transcript to look for the strengths and weaknesses in their cases. The information obtained during the depositions can help them decide what to do next.
Possible Outcomes of an Unsuccessful Deposition
Two outcomes are possible if your deposition doesn’t go well. It depends on the circumstances of your case. Your lawyer will determine the next steps based on the information you provided and whether they believe they can reach a favorable verdict at trial.
A poorly executed deposition can lead to one of two outcomes:
- Prepare for trial – If you don’t give a successful deposition, the defense lawyer will likely want to proceed to trial. Obtaining information from the opposing party isn’t the only goal of a deposition. Both sides can determine how the deponent will perform on the witness stand. If the deponent fumbles over their words or lets their emotions get the best of them, the same can happen while testifying in court.
- Attend mediation – Your lawyer will review the deposition transcript to determine whether taking the case to trial is a good idea. Attempting to settle might be a better option, especially if your testimony shows significant weaknesses in the case. They can request mediation with opposing counsel to negotiate a settlement agreement.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Now
Preparing for a deposition can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first time. You wonder whether you’ll answer each question correctly and improve your chance of securing compensation from the at-fault party. Participating in a deposition without quality legal representation is risky. You should have an experienced legal team to guide you through the process.
Portner Bond, PLLC fights for injured clients in Texas. We believe in making a difference in our clients’ lives. When you hire us, we will protect your rights and aggressively seek the justice you deserve. Call the Beaumont personal injury lawyers of Portner Bond, PLLC at (409) 838-4444 for a free consultation if someone else’s negligence caused your injury in an accident.