Posted on: 26 November 2014
Have you been injured due to the negligence of a business? Are you filing a lawsuit in order to gain compensation for your losses? If this is the case, it is very likely that you will need to give a deposition. This means that you will need to deal with the opposing counsel.
The opposing counsel's goal in this deposition will be to discredit your claim and limit any damages that the company will need to pay. Because of this, depositions can be very intense. If you are properly prepared, it will make it easier to have a successful deposition. This article will give you 5 tips that will help you be prepared.
Top Tip #1: No Long Answers
When giving a deposition, short answers are key. When you are asked a question by the attorney, you should say only enough to answer the question. Don't volunteer information unnecessarily. It is the opposing counsel's job to ask follow-up questions if necessary.
Top Tip #2: Dress The Part
Even though the deposition may not occur in a courtroom, it is a court proceeding. You should treat it as such. Make sure you dress in a way that is suitable for a courtroom.
The opposing attorney is going to try to see how sympathetic and credible you may appear to a jury. You must make sure that you appear as credible as possible.
Top Tip #3: Slow Answers
When the attorney asks you a question, take your time and answer slowly. You are not required to rush to an answer. You are allowed to take as much time as necessary to answer the question the best way you can.
Most likely, you and your attorney will have had a coaching session before being deposed. When you are asked a question, refer to the tips your attorney gave you. This will help you give the most effective answer possible.
Top Tip #4: Be Ready For Any Question
In a deposition, it is very likely that you will be asked a barrage of questions that don't seem to relate to the incident that caused your injury. Don't be taken off guard.
A deposition is different from a trial in that it is more open when it comes to the questions that can be asked. In an actual trial, attorneys are only able to ask relevant questions. This is not the case in a deposition.
The opposing counsel will ask questions that are designed to turn up any information they could possibly use to sway the opinion of a potential jury. Just keep giving short answers and don't volunteer information and you will be fine.
Top Tip #5: Behavior
Since the opposing counsel is going to be asking questions that are challenging to your case, it may be tempting to become combative. Don't do it.
Don't argue with the attorney or behave in a non-professional manner. The opposing attorney could potentially use any rudeness on your part to make you appear less sympathetic before a potential jury. If the opposing counsel behaves in a way that is aggressive and rude, your attorney will put a stop to it.
Depositions are not easy, but if you make sure that you prepare yourself, you can get through it. Make sure you ask your attorney as many questions as you can. This will help you be as ready as possible.
If you do win your case and receive a large amount of money, you're probably wondering about how it may affect your future and the future of your family. One thing you can do is talk to an estate planning attorney about placing the money in a trust that can benefit your family now and in the future.