How to Handle Yourself at Your Deposition
If you have been in a car accident and are suing for damages, you may find that you have to be deposed before the trial. You might be anxious, and you might want your Irvine personal injury attorney to coach you as to what exactly to say and how you should say it. Unfortunately, your attorney will not be able to coach you that specifically, but there are some general tips you can keep mind when preparing for your deposition.
Your Irvine personal injury attorney will recommend that you never answer a question unless you understand well what the question is asking. If you don’t understand the question, you can say so, and the attorney will rephrase. Don’t try to guess at the meaning of a question, and don’t try to guess what the “right” answer is. Especially in car accident cases, defense attorneys sometimes to get witnesses to testify to facts such as distances and speeds that can be used later at trial. If you say that another vehicle crossed over the center line 500 feet before the collision occurred, this figure will be used later and the defense attorney will start incorporating that figure into questions as if it were established fact. This will lead to inaccurate and contradictory testimony if it is based on a guess.
It is OK if you don’t know the answer to every question, so just answer what you know to be factually correct. If you don’t know an answer, just say, “I don’t know,” and don’t try to speculate about possible answers. If you don’t remember, just say, “I don’t remember at this time.” If you feel you need to give an approximation or estimation for an answer, make clear in your answer that you are only giving an approximation and not an exact figure.
Also, keep in mind that you want to be polite throughout the questioning. Although you may not like the way the defense attorney is treating you, there is no need to be gruff with him or her. The attorney will be evaluating what kind of witness you are and what that means for the case’s prospects at trial.
If you have further questions about how to act at your deposition, call 888-848-5084 to contact dedicated Irvine personal injury attorney Samer Habbas for a free initial consultation.