If you have a personal injury deposition on your horizons, it is a good idea to learn as much as possible to build a solid foundation for yourself. Your ignorance can be disastrous for your case and will only lead to trouble down the line. Follow these important tips from industry expert James Rawlson to help yourself prepare for your deposition and make the most of your legal case.
Here is what you need to know before your deposition:
Mentally Prepare: If you are not mentally prepared for your deposition, you are likely to break down from the pressure, make mistakes, or embarrass yourself. Depositions can be long, draining experiences and some mental preparation can go a long way to making it a smoother and less stressful process. You are going to have to relive your past in substantial detail, so familiarize yourself completely with the incident in question.
Get Medical Records: Find out exactly what is in your medical records from before and after the incident. You want to know about any documented complaints regarding previous injuries, pains, etc. It will become much more difficult to make a personal injury claim if there is proof of your suffering the same pain before your incident.
Make a Good Impression: When dealing with anything in the legal industry, it is a good idea to dress as you would for an interview. You can be your own authentic self in your day to day life, but you want to look clean-cut and professional for a deposition. The bottom line is that you don’t want to distract from your relevant facts and answers. Cover up any tattoos, remove unconventional jewelry, and be polite for the entirety of your deposition.
Be Honest: Above all else, tell the truth. Don’t be scared to say you don’t understand a question or don’t remember a particular fact. You won’t be penalized for requesting clarification, but you will be if you answer something incorrectly — ignorance is no excuse. If you are not 100% sure of an answer, it is a good idea to preface it with “as far as I recall” so that you can edit that answer later if need be.
Be Concise & Accurate: A good rule of thumb is to keep your answer to about a sentence long. If you find yourself providing long storylines and going off-topic, then you should consider limiting yourself to a shorter answer. You want to give honest, accurate information, but you don’t want to reveal more information than the other attorney is asking of you.
You can read more at Schwartz and Schwartz’s blog.