If you’ve been involved in a car accident case in Baltimore County, MD, there’s a chance you may be called to give a deposition. The proceeding is part of the discovery process and you should discuss preparations with your personal injury attorney, but here’s is some general information on what to expect
Purposes of a Deposition in an Auto Accident Case: The discovery part of a lawsuit is where the respective parties learn more about the events leading up to the car accident and afterwards, such as for treatment of injuries. Discovery includes documents and sworn testimony from someone who may be testifying at trial. As the injured party in an auto accident, you will be testifying and will likely be called for a deposition.
Preparation Do’s and Don’ts: Your Baltimore County car accident attorney will consult with you on how to prepare for your deposition. There are other tips to keep in mind:
- DO: Get a good night’s sleep before the deposition. Depending on the complexities of your case, the proceeding could last a few hours and it requires your full concentration. You should also dress the part of a testifying witness, so wear business clothing to demonstrate your credibility.
- DON’T: Do any independent research or review documents without first talking to your lawyer. You won’t be required to bring any documents; you’ll simply be asked questions about your recollection of the accident. You will also be questioned about the treatment of your injuries.
The Deposition Proceedings: At the beginning of the deposition, you will be asked to swear under oath that your testimony is the truth – just as you would be requested to do if you were taking the witness stand in court. You are legally obligated to tell the truth under penalty of law; you may be subject to perjury if you fail to do so.
The lawyers representing the party at fault in your car accident will ask you about many things, but they can only focus their questions on facts that are directly related to the lawsuit. When opposing attorneys ask questions, keep in mind a few guidelines:
- Only talk about details you know from direct knowledge;
- Don’t guess or speculate about different facts;
- If you don’t know or can’t remember, say so;
- Saying that you don’t know or don’t recall is acceptable;
- Don’t let an attorney persuade you to remember facts – unless you really do remember; and,
- Remember that your testimony at a deposition can be raised at trial, so you always want to be consistent.
Finally, always defer to your attorney if you need to ask questions or are unsure of how to respond.
A deposition isn’t such an intimidating proceeding when you know what to expect and how to properly prepare for your appearance. It’s also important to have a Baltimore County, MD car accident lawyer on your side to protect your rights to compensation and legal interests. If you have additional questions about depositions, discovery or other matters related to a personal injury trial, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman.
See Related Blog Posts: