Here’s What You Should Know About Personal Injury Depositions
You may be entitled to file a personal injury claim after suffering an injury in a Florida accident because of someone else’s negligence. After filing your claim, a deposition may be necessary, especially if you don’t manage to settle your case with the insurance company. Depositions in Florida personal injury cases are allowed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
The following is what you need to know about personal injury depositions.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is a process in which a party’s attorney questions the other party about the details of the case in order to gather information. During your deposition, the defendant’s attorney will ask you, the victim, several questions. Your attorney will then do the same with the defendant.
So, how do you know you are supposed to submit to a deposition? You’ll know in advance if you are required to submit to a deposition because you will receive a “notice of deposition.” After receiving a notice of deposition, you must avail yourself if you want your case to continue. You will know about the place, date, and time in advance, and your attorney can even work with the negligent party’s attorney to pick a date and time that is convenient for you.
In Florida personal injury cases, depositions usually happen in an attorney’s office. Depositions do not happen in the courtroom. Your attorney, the defendant’s attorney, and a court reporter will be present during your deposition. A court reporter’s job is to record all the questions asked and answers provided. A videographer will also be present if your deposition requires a video recording.
Finally, you should know that, during your deposition, you’ll be under oath. Therefore, you must answer questions truthfully and to the best of your ability. Any statements you make during your deposition can be used as evidence in court if your case proceeds to trial, meaning you can be charged with lying under oath if you do so in your deposition.
The Purpose of a Deposition
There are several reasons why depositions are necessary in personal injury cases. First of all, a deposition allows you to tell your side of the story. A deposition allows you to establish the circumstances of your case in your own words.
Secondly, a deposition provides attorneys with the chance to gather available information and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
Lastly, depositions are used as an opportunity to authenticate the available documents.
What Should You Expect During a Deposition?
TV dramas can be misleading. If you have seen people being deposed on TV dramas, you probably expect the defendant’s attorney to be pounding on the table and shouting when questioning you.
Unlike what most TV dramas portray, you can expect that the deposing attorney will be professional, polite, and maybe even friendly. After all, how are you supposed to share information with them if they are shouting at you and pounding on the table?
Questions You Can Expect During Your Deposition
During your deposition, you can expect to be asked different types of questions. For example, the defendant’s attorney may ask you general information questions. These include questions about who you are and your background. The attorney may also ask you questions about the accident, your injuries, and life after the accident.
Examples of questions about the accident you can expect during your deposition include;
- How did the accident happen?
- How was the weather on the day of your accident?
- Did you communicate with anyone during or immediately after the accident?
- Who witnessed your accident?
- What state were you in, mentally, when you had the accident?
Examples of questions about your injuries you can expect during your deposition include;
- How were you injured?
- Did you receive emergency medical treatment?
- Did you undergo surgery?
- Were you admitted to the hospital?
- Are you undergoing physical or occupational therapy?
When asked about life after the accident, this is your chance to talk about how life after the accident differs from life before the accident. When the other attorney asks you about life after the accident, ensure you talk about the limitations you have experienced. Also, talk about the pain you’ve gone through since the accident and the costs incurred. However, be careful not to share unnecessary information.
How Should You Conduct Yourself During a Deposition?
Below are some recommended personal conduct during a deposition;
- Be polite and professional
- Stick to the facts
- Be honest
- Take time before speaking
- Feel free to say “I don’t remember” or “I am not sure.”
Contact a Naples Personal Injury Attorney
If you need help with your Florida personal injury case, including help preparing for a deposition, contact The Naples personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro. We are an experienced and dedicated team that has helped many victims recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages.