Any personal injury lawsuit will almost undoubtedly involve a deposition – not just of parties to the lawsuit, but also of the doctors, witnesses, and any experts offering testimony for either the plaintiff or the defendant. Many clients are anxious and uneasy about the participating in a deposition, but adequate preparation can go a long way in helping calm a plaintiff’s nerves.
What Is a Deposition?
As part of the discovery process, each side has the right to obtain certain information regarding the accident from the other side through written questions (also known as interrogatories), requests for production of documents, and depositions.
Basically, the deposition is an opportunity for the defense to ask the plaintiff questions about the accident. During the deposition, the defendant’s attorney will ask the plaintiff questions, to which the plaintiff must provide truthful answers. The plaintiff’s attorney will be present during the deposition and he or she may object to any inappropriate questions. A court reporter, or stenographer, will record the deposition.
What to Expect at the Deposition
If you are a plaintiff scheduled to appear at a deposition, you should plan to arrive at the deposition on time and dressed professionally. Your attorney will also be present at the deposition. At the outset of the deposition, you will swear under oath to tell the truth and the court reporter will beginning recording the proceedings.
During the deposition, the defense attorney will ask a series of questions regarding the following:
- General background information, including your name, address, date of birth, family members, education, and work history.
- Your physical condition prior to the injury.
- The circumstances of the accident.
- Your medical treatment and physical condition after the accident and/or injury occurred.
- The impact of the injuries on your job, your family, and other aspects of your life.
It is important to be truthful and the cooperative at the deposition, but you should not answer any questions that you do not recall or that your attorney tells you not to answer. Because the defense attorney is not only obtaining information from you, but also evaluating your skill as a witness for trial, it is important to act professionally throughout the deposition.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Although a deposition in a personal injury lawsuit can seem daunting, the Chicago accident and injury lawyers at Cogan & Power, P.C. will guide you every step of the way. We will make sure that you know what to expect at the deposition, prepare you for the deposition, and protect your rights and interests at the deposition. Moreover, we put our years of experience handling personal injury lawsuits to work to get our clients maximum money damages.
If you were injured in a personal injury accident or would like more information about what happens at a deposition, contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.