If you have never been to a pedestrian accident deposition before, it’s likely that you are nervous and you do not know what to expect. A deposition is a series of questions that the defense attorney will ask you to answer under oath. The questions are reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence in your case.
The deposition will be held at a court reporter’s office or at your lawyer’s office. There will be no judge present because it isn’t a trial. The person taking the deposition will hire the court reporter. Court reporter should not be an advocate of either side. Their only job will be to write down everything that is said during the deposition and to administer the oath.
At the deposition, you will sit next to your lawyer at a conference table while the defense attorney will sit next to their client. Keep in mind that the defendant does not need to attend the deposition.
Can Your Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help You Answer Deposition Questions?
Your lawyer is not allowed to directly give you answers at the pedestrian accident deposition. If you do not know the answer to a question or you do not understand the question, ask the defense lawyer to re-phrase it or ask for some clarity. Your knowledge and your memory is what you will rely on while at the deposition.
The Defense Lawyer’s Attitude
The defense attorney can walk in to the deposition and make it look like they are friendly. They will politely greet you and some may even joke around a bit to put you at ease. Some are so good at their job that they make the deposition feel like you are having a conversation with them. You should be weary if the defense lawyer is being friendly with you. That’s their tactic for trying to get more information out of you.
One thing to keep in mind is that the defense attorney is not your friend no matter how friendly they are. Secondly, don’t get caught up in having a conversation with the defense attorney. What seems like a casual conversation could end up revealing more to the defense attorney than you think. The last thing you want is to give up too much information.
The defense attorney on the other hand can also antagonize you. Some lawyers have been known to try to get a reaction from their client by getting them angry or frustrated. The best way to deal with such a lawyer is to keep your cool.
Three Reasons for a Deposition
The defense lawyer might depose you for three main reasons:
- To Question you Before Trial
The defense lawyer knows that they cannot speak to you directly once you get your own pedestrian accident lawyer. In order for them to ask you questions directly, they will have to arrange for a deposition.
- To Evaluate What Kind of a Witness You Will be at Trial
As mentioned earlier, some defense lawyers will try to irritate you with their line of questioning to see if you have a temper. If you give in and give them exactly what they are looking for, they will know exactly the type of client you are. In summary, the defense lawyer wants to see how you conduct yourself to determine what kind of a witness you will make.
- They Want to See if You are Honest?
It’s much harder to hide something especially when there are follow up questions as is the case in a deposition.
Don’t Use the Deposition to Tell Your Story
The reason why the defense lawyer arranged for a deposition is not to hear your side of the story but to find out as much information about your case as possible. This is not the time to volunteer information that you think is important so if the defense attorney does not ask you something you think is important, don’t address it.
This, however, does not mean that you withhold important information if it’s asked. Simply do not answer questions that haven’t been asked. The time to tell your side of the story is during your trial.
Getting Ready for Your Deposition
You should review your accident report, your interrogatory and your complaint just to ensure that there are no errors that need to be corrected or explained during your deposition. If there are any errors in any of these documents, you should immediately inform your lawyer so that they can be corrected before the deposition.
If everything is as it should be and you were telling the truth, then you won’t need to memorize anything. Your pedestrian accident lawyer will meet with you the day before the deposition to prep you.
How Long Your Deposition Will Take
Most depositions last between 2-4 hours. It might take longer than that if you have a complicated medical history or issue. However, some lawyers can prolong the deposition by exploring irrelevant areas of your case.
Never Lie in a Deposition
This is the worst thing that you can do. You will eventually be caught even if you think your lie is foolproof. If your case goes to trial and the judge, finds out you were lying, your case could be dismissed and you may be ordered to pay the defense lawyer’s fee.
Your lawyer will work with your truth to get you a fair amount of compensation. However, it would require a miracle for them to save you if you are caught in a lie.
Don’t Forget to Relax
Do whatever makes you feel comfortable during the deposition. You can stand, sit, pace back and forth as long as it’s not interfering with the deposition. Also, asking for a ten-minute break per hours is quite reasonable.
Pedestrian accidents have become more common now than ever. Drivers are often dealing with distractions like texting, browsing, etc. and they end up hurting innocent people. If you have been in a pedestrian accident in Hyannis, MA, call Kevin P Landry Law Offices today at 508-775-1660 or visit our Hyannis offices today for a free initial consultation.