If your car accident case in Plymouth, MA does not settle immediately, you might have to give a deposition. Depositions are not very popular and if they don’t go well, they could end up hurting your own case. Thankfully, we have a few tips that can help you make your deposition go smoothly.
Always Understand Questions before Answering
There are a number of reasons as to why it is important that you wait for the deposing lawyer to complete his question before giving an answer. If you don’t wait for them to complete their question, the following could happen:
- You might screw up your case by answering the wrong question. Most people assume they know where the deposing lawyer’s question is going so they quickly jump in to give an answer only to later find out they gave an answer to what wasn’t asked. This only gives the other side more leverage.
- You might not give your lawyer enough time to object. Always wait a few seconds before answering the question so as to give your lawyer time to oppose.
- The deposition transcript will be incomplete. The court reporter can only write down what one person is saying at a time. If you talk over the deposing lawyer, you risk having an incomprehensible transcript.
If you do not understand a question, ask the deposition lawyer to rephrase it. Don’t guess what she is asking.
Don’t Guess or Make Up the Answer
If the deposing lawyer asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to or asks about details you cannot remember, it’s perfectly okay to reply with “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember”. DON’T make up an answer simply because you do not want to seem like you have a poor memory. Making up an answer will be seen as lying even if that was not your intention.
The deposing lawyer might try to ask you follow up questions meant to mock your “poor” memory. Don’t give in and make up an answer. Stick to your original answer. If you remember the answer later during the deposition you can always let the deposing lawyer know.
Only Answer the Questions You Are Asked
You might be tempted to give your side of the story during the deposition but this is not a good idea. A good lawyer will want to know both sides of the story so that they can evaluate the case better. However, don’t bother answering something that you haven’t been asked. If your Plymouth car accident case goes to trial, you will be able to tell your story then. If you feel the need to add any information, it’s best to wait until after the deposition to talk to your lawyer about it. They should be able to tell you whether the information omitted is relevant to your case or not.
Don’t Lose Your Temper
Some lawyers are known to take on sarcastic or accusatory tones and some might even have an attitude. They will try to ask you upsetting questions to portray you as a jerk seeking revenge. They might also be trying to push boundaries with you to find out exactly what kind of a witness you will make at trial.
The key here is to always keep your cool. If you keep your cool, he won’t continue trying to agitate you during the deposition. And if your case does go to trial, he won’t try to agitate you then because the jury will perceive him as a bully.
Always Read and Sign Your Deposition
At the end of your deposition, you might be asked to read and sign your deposition. Reading and signing off on your deposition is not just about correcting typos and grammatical errors. Reading your deposition and signing off on it has many advantages including the fact that you can correct a few things before signing off on it. For instance, if you said something that you weren’t sure of you can correct that by attaching an errata sheet.
At Kevin P Landry Law Offices, we always give our clients tips on how to make sure their deposition goes smoothly. We always do what we can to ensure we protect our clients’ rights and to get them the justice that they deserve. If you have a car accident case in Plymouth, we can evaluate your case for free. Call us at 508-746-2700 or visit our Plymouth offices for a free consultation.