Will you soon be testifying in a personal injury case? Are you still thinking about filing a personal injury case? Wherever you find yourself at on the spectrum, at some point you may need to consider testifying in a personal injury case. There is a chance, of course, that your case will be settled well before it goes to trial. In fact, the vast majority of personal injury claims can be resolved without going through litigation. In most cases, your attorney will endeavor to resolve the issue effectively before going to trial, but in some cases the issues may not be successfully resolved.
If that’s the case, there’s a chance you could be testifying in a personal injury case. One of the most important steps of the case process that cannot be managed by your San Diego personal injury attorney is the deposition. Your lawyer can help you prepare for a deposition, but ultimately it’s your job to answer the questions appropriately and ensure that you feel calm and confident on the day when it happens.
A deposition is an interview with the other attorney that you must complete under oath. Usually, this involves various questions about the accident itself and the injuries you sustained as a result. Usually, the other attorney will take any information gleaned from the deposition and use it to craft a defense for his or her client. This is why it’s so important that you are not only truthful but comfortable with the deposition. The remainder of your case will almost certainly be influenced by the deposition you provide.
When preparing for the deposition and in the room itself, always think before you answer. This allows you to collect your thoughts. Many of the questions that are provided are intended to be confusing or trip you up. After every question asked, take a moment to compose yourself. There are no prizes or benefits to answering right away, so make sure you take your time. That being said, you should always tell the truth. When you’re testifying in a personal injury case deposition, this is often your first chance to tell your version of events. Your entire case could crumble due to false testimony, so stick to the truth.
If you do stumble, take the chance to revise your answers. Nerves can sometimes make it difficult to answer entirely the first time around. While you should still strive for this, don’t be afraid to stop and correct yourself if necessary. It’s far better to clear things up in the deposition itself rather than waiting to be quizzed about it in the trial. Make sure you also get plenty of rest before the deposition day.
If you’re nervous about the process, ask your attorney to do a mock deposition with you. This way you’ll have a good sense of the questions most likely to be asked and your attorney can also give you some practical tips about ways that the other attorney may try to make you confused or nervous on the stand. Although it might initially seem nerve-wracking to be testifying in a personal injury case, it does not have to be that way when you’re prepared.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines