What to expect at a deposition.
After you’ve been in a car accident and hired a lawyer to help you deal with the insurance company to get you paid, you may find yourself in litigation.
Litigation is just a fancy term for law suit.
Your lawyer probably had to file one because the insurance company wasn’t paying you what you deserved for getting injured as a result of the negligence of their insured.
This is all too common and part of their playbook.
They try and wear you and your lawyer down with endless excuses as to why they don’t believe they should pay a dime.
If you’ve hired the right lawyer he or she won’t be deterred by these common tactics. They will know what to do and how to deal with it.
The first step after filing a lawsuit is called discovery. This is the process where both sides get to ask the other side many questions .
The defense lawyers for the insurance company love this part because they are paid for every hour they have to answer these questions. And, they are going to make sure they bill as many hours as they believe they can.
After written discovery is complete, a deposition is usually requested by the defense. They want to usually depose you, the claimant.
They do this for a couple of reasons.
First, they want to size you up to see what kind of witness you will be in front of a jury.
Are you the type that is going to come across as unapproachable, not charming and belligerent – basically someone that will not be liked or believed so that a jury will likely pay you less. Or will you come across as someone kind, well spoken and trustworthy – basically someone the jury believes should be paid well for their injuries.
They want to know how deep the charm pool is going to be before they jump in and swim at trial.
So a deposition is the first chance they will get to do this.
Second, they want to see what information you have that they already don’t have.
Finally, they want to get you to say something that might be bad for you. Maybe they catch you in a lie or some other contradictory fact that will show you are faking the extent of your injuries or the reason behind them.
Defense counsel will start off by asking you easy questions. They already know the answers to these and so do you. They want you to get buttered up and feel at ease.
Once that is done they move on to the tougher questions or unexpected questions. Maybe you had a criminal past that you thought would be best to cover up. Well they have those records so it’s best you tell them the truth.
Or, maybe, you were in an accident before that you failed to disclose and had injuries to these same parts of your body that you are claiming now.
It could be anything from your past so it’s absolutely best to do this one thing and you will almost always come out on top and beat any defense lawyer at their game.
Tell the truth.
It’s as simple as that.
It doesn’t matter if you had a criminal past or were injured before (unless you lie about it).
So all you have to do is not play smart. If you don’t recall something simply say you don’t recall and if they ask you about something from your past, assume they know, and just tell the truth.
You still have injuries from the current accident that are irrespective of whether you did a hard time or whether you were injured in a car wreck before.
And those injures the insurance company is supposed to pay you for.
So, tell the truth. And justice will be served!