personal injury deposition

What to Expect During a Personal Injury Deposition

Suppose you’ve been injured in California and seek compensation from a negligent party. In that case, you may find yourself embroiled in an extensive claims process that might eventually end up in the courtroom. It’s important you rely on a knowledgeable, experienced California personal injury attorney to guide you through the process.

As your personal injury lawsuit unfolds, your attorney will advise you about what to expect from the process, including being deposed by the other party. The mere thought of being questioned by opposing counsel is enough to elevate your stress and anxiety. However, with adequate preparation and an understanding of what to expect during a deposition, you will be okay.  

What is a personal injury deposition? 

A deposition is an attempt to gather from witnesses any information that may be useful if your personal injury lawsuit proceeds to trial. Generally, witnesses that support your case, including you, are deposed by opposing counsel. Testimony provided during the deposition is provided under oath, transcribed or recorded, and may be used at trial. 

Are you required to give a deposition?

Because depositions are legal requests for testimony under oath, you are required to comply as part of the discovery process in your lawsuit. Depositions provide a record of facts and circumstances that will be used to establish or impeach your credibility at trial. Your personal injury attorney will thoroughly review your case with you and prepare you for potential questions that might be asked of you. Failure to cooperate with a deposition request can nullify your right to pursue your personal injury lawsuit. 

How and when are depositions scheduled?

Depositions are scheduled after your lawsuit is filed, but in advance of trial as part of discovery. A notice of deposition will be served to alert you that you are being deposed. Your attorney and opposing counsel will coordinate dates and times that are agreeable to all parties and set the deposition date. 

What is the format of a personal injury deposition?

Depositions are not part of formal court proceedings and are generally held in the deposing attorney’s conference room. You, your attorney, opposing counsel, a court reporter, and perhaps a videographer will all be present for your deposition.

The opposing attorney will ask questions that you are required to answer truthfully and unaided by your attorney. In addition to requests for general information, such as your name, address, workplace, etc., you can anticipate a series of questions designed to elicit information to refute your personal injury claim. The opposing party will likely ask questions about:

  • Your health before the accident
  • The accident itself
  • Sustained injuries
  • Post-accident health and lifestyle

The most important aspect of the deposition is to be honest. Preparation with your personal injury lawyer will help reduce confusion and boost your confidence during the process. You want to answer only the question asked, as pointedly as possible.  

Remember, the questions are formatted to gather information that might be used against you.  Answer only the question asked, clearly, and concisely. Again, your attorney cannot advise you during the deposition. They may, however, raise objections if necessary.

Why You Need a California Personal Injury Attorney During Deposition

If you have suffered injury or loss due to another’s negligence in California, you are likely overwhelmed financially, physically, and emotionally.  Being served a Notice of Deposition can only compound an already stressful time of recovery.  

Relying on your California personal injury attorney to explain the process, anticipate the questions, and support you during the deposition is crucial. 

Contact our office today to speak with a reliable and experienced personal injury attorney.  Together, we will review your personal injury claim, develop a legal strategy, and prepare to win the compensation you deserve.