If you have been injured as a result of someone’s reckless actions, or you’ve witnessed someone else suffer a similar injury, you may be asked to provide a deposition as part of the injury case. A deposition is an interview where attorneys from both sides ask questions of witnesses to establish the facts and circumstances of a case. These interviews can make or break a case, and there are a few things you’ll want to avoid if you are deposed to ensure you don’t tank the case. Below, we share six things you should avoid doing during your deposition testimony.
Avoid These Six Actions During A Deposition
Your lawyer will walk you through what to expect during the deposition, but do your best to avoid these six actions when it’s your turn to talk.
1. Lie Or Guess – A deposition is an interview that is conducted under oath, so if it comes out that you are lying, you can face criminal charges. Similarly, if you aren’t absolutely positive about something, don’t guess or speculate. If part of your testimony turns out to be inaccurate, even if you didn’t mean to be untruthful, it can make the rest of your statements look less than truthful.
2. Overshare – Only answer the specific question that is being answered, and leave it at that. Oversharing or volunteering more information than needed can end up hurting your case, so stick to the questions being asked, and nothing more unless a follow-up is asked.
3. Get Angry – A lawyer from the other side might try to get you to say something in the heat of the moment that will hurt your case, and they may try to do that by riling you up. Getting angry or defensive can cloud your judgement and hurt your case in the long run if you admit something that slips out when you’re angry or frustrated.
4. Lose Focus – Depositions can be long and a bit boring, but don’t let your guard down and lose focus. Being unfocused can lead to sharing information that you wanted to keep private, and being bored can sometimes lead witnesses to overshare simply because they want to inject a little energy into the proceedings. Stay focused and stick to the task at hand.
5. Assume The Other Attorney Is Your Friend – Don’t assume that the other attorney has your best interests at heart, because they are getting paid by the people you are suing. They will try to come off as friendly and trustworthy, and that can get you to let your guard down. The other lawyer is not on your side, and while you’ll want to be respectful to one another during the deposition, do not for a moment think that they have your best interests at heart.
6. Fail To Carefully Review Documents – Finally, you may be asked to review certain documents during your deposition as part of your testimony. They may be injury reports, witness statements, police reports or other documents pertaining to the case. Regardless of whether you’ve seen the documents before or not, don’t assume you know what’s in them without carefully reviewing them first. Failing to review any documents you’re presented with during the deposition can lead to unwanted surprises later on.
For assistance with your deposition, or for help with any part of your injury claim, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Office today.