By: Ashley Page
We have all seen depositions on TV dramas. They appear to range from boring
to downright daunting on occasions. The characters on TV submit themselves
for questioning and are sometimes unwittingly caught in a nasty trap.
In real life, depositions are a very important piece of the litigation
process, but your lawyer will be there to guide you, prepare you, and
protect your interests. The purpose of depositions is for each side to
obtain information about the case to prepare for trial. The plaintiff's
side will be searching for information to show that defendant was negligent,
and the defendant will be searching for information to prepare defenses
or show that there was no negligence.
personal injury case, you may have to face questions about your personal history. Some
questions are standard: Where do you work? Where do you live? Do you have
children? Other questions may be specific to the litigation process: Do
you have any prior injuries? Have you ever participated in a lawsuit before?
Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Have you ever received a traffic
citation? Additionally, many of the questions will be about the incident
itself: Did you call the police? Where there any witnesses? Did you seek
medical treatment? How many times did you go to the doctor? How have these
injuries affected your life? You may also be asked questions for the other
attorney to determine your reliability: Do you wear glasses? Where you
wearing glasses when the incident happened? Do you have a hearing impairment?
Do you have any memory impairments? Were you under the influence of any
drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident? The full range of questions
during a deposition may be very broad because the attorneys have many
factors to consider in preparing their case strategy for trial.
Your lawyer will always prepare you before a deposition. He or she will
walk you through the process and go over the sequence of events. You can
also help by preparing on your own. You can review any of your own notes,
doctor's notes, medical records, diagrams of the accident, accident
reports, or police reports. Another way to help prepare for a deposition
is getting into a calm mindset. Staying calm during a deposition is very
important. You should never let the other attorney aggravate or upset
you. This may fluster or confuse you as you are trying to give your deposition
testimony. Remember that your job is to stay calm and answer the questions
honestly. Leave it to your attorney to step in on your behalf if the situation
becomes stressful or upsetting. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, &
Siegel, we step in to protect your interests from the moment you hire
us through the entire litigation process until your case is resolved.