By Sean M. Cleary
A deposition forms an integral part of the pre-trial discovery process of a personal injury lawsuit. It is nothing but a sort of an interview during which the plaintiff will be asked questions regarding his/her personal injury claim by the defense counsel. This allows both the parties to investigate and gain more information and evidence to assess their case and plan a strategy for the trial. Most commonly, depositions are held at the lawyer’s office or at a court reporter’s office. The person being deposed (deponent) gives a testimony under oath in the presence of a court reporter so that it is recorded. Depositions are critical and decide the outcome of litigation and sometimes complex cases do not get settled until the experts provide their deposition testimony.
Role of a Deposition Strategy in a Personal Injury Case
In a personal injury case a deposition helps to:
• Obtain relevant facts about the case and elements of the claim in the lawsuit
• Gather the strengths as well as the weaknesses of a case
• Determine when and how the injury occurred
• Examine the ability of a person to testify at a trial
Five Areas of Questioning in Personal Injury Case Deposition
A personal injury case deposition is standard in most cases and includes the following queries:
• Background information on the deponent: age, education, family, and employment details.
• Prior or subsequent accidents apart from the accident claimed
• Details of the current accident
• Injury to body parts claimed in the suit and medical treatment
• Lifestyle impact due to the injuries
General Instructions that Prepare Expert Witnesses for Deposition
It is important to follow certain simple guidelines during a deposition, which include:
• Listen closely and carefully
• Answer only the question being asked
• Avoid guesses, speculations, or answering inaccurately
• Pause for a few seconds after a question is asked. This gives time for the plaintiff’s counsel to lodge an objection, if any.
• Be truthful in answering the questions.
Advantages of a Video Deposition
A video deposition is useful to challenge the veracity of a witness if they happen to change their statement at trial. Watching a witness saying contradicting facts could have a greater impact than going back and reading the written transcript of the testimony. Additionally, an attorney may prefer video deposition as it facilitates preservation of the witness’s testimony, which can later become useful in case of untoward incidences such as witness’s death, critical illness, event of fleeing, or being unavailable to testify at trial. It becomes easy for legal staff to review, refer, and scrutinize video depositions. Moreover, video depositions are more likely to capture jury members’ attentiveness.
About the Author:
Sean M. Cleary, the founder of The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, PA, is a dedicated personal injury attorney who will give personal attention, provide his advice, and guide you throughout the entire legal process. He investigates and handles all types of car accident cases in Miami and the entire state of Florida. Sean is an experienced accident attorney with a good network of experts. He and his team perform a thorough research of the case, evaluation of damages sustained, identification of parties responsible, dealing with the insurance companies, and filing a claim for the entitled compensation. They are experts at negotiation and help clients get back on track by recovering a fair amount of compensation from the insurance companies. If you or loved one has been in a car accident in Miami or anywhere in the State of Florida, call The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary on 305.416.9805 to get your case evaluated or click here.