A Lawyer’s Guide to Preparing for Your Personal Injury Deposition
For many facing personal injury, the accident and treatment afterwards is one of the scariest times in a person’s life. The accident may have been traumatic, and then was followed by pain from injuries, the challenge of treating injuries, and finally unexpected and expensive medical bills. A personal injury attorney and their legal team can alleviate some of these stressors – and one step in that process is a deposition.
Medical debt is a weight that too many Americans are burdened with. A recent survey by the Census Bureau found that at least 19% of American households had medical debt they could not afford to pay off.
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If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may not need to take on that debt, alone. Our Austin personal injury lawyers can help you file a personal injury claim and fight for the compensation you are owed.
When you work with us, we’re with you every step of the way. That includes during your personal injury deposition.
If you’ve never been deposed before, you may not know what to expect. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about personal injury depositions so that you can go in prepared.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition refers to a meeting called by the attorneys of one party to collect information from the other party. If you are being deposed during the process of your personal injury claim, it entails that you will be questioned by the defense.
Most depositions occur in an attorney’s office, rather than the courtroom. It occurs before your personal injury case goes into settlement or, in some cases, to court. Typically, you, your attorney, the defense attorneys, and a stenographer will be present.
Why Are Depositions Important?
Depositions are an important part of the discovery phase of your claim. It may feel like your deposition will only benefit the defense, but this is not the case.
Your deposition typically marks the first time that you can give your testimony on the record. This is an important part of building your case and your attorney will pay close attention to what you have to say. This is particularly helpful if you do go on to testify in court, as your attorney can assess what preparation you need.
What Should You Expect to Discuss During a Personal Injury Deposition in Texas?
A deposition is not a conversation between you and the defense attorneys. Instead, it is a question-and-answer session. You never want to provide information that isn’t pertinent to the questions you’ve been asked.
What kinds of information will come up during your personal injury deposition? Let’s take a look.
First, they will ask some general information questions. This covers standard information such as your name, contact information, and employment status. It may also cover information about your familial makeup.
Previous Physical Condition
Throughout the personal injury claim process, you will need to discuss your previous physical condition. This helps to establish the ways in which your injury affected your quality of life. This will certainly come up in your deposition.
Many defense attorneys will search for signs that you were predisposed to the injury you sustained in the accident. Their goal is to find sources of your injury other than the accident caused by their client. We will help you navigate what you are required to discuss.
Accident and Injury Description
Most of your deposition will be spent providing details about the accident and your subsequent injury.
Typical questions about the accident include:
- What were you doing when the accident occurred?
- What was your reaction to it?
- Did anyone witness the accident?
- What was the weather like during the accident?
- Where did the accident occur?
Typical questions about the injury include:
- In what way were you injured?
- When did you seek treatment and where?
- Did you follow your doctor’s medical advice?
- Are you seeking ongoing treatment? If so, what type(s) of treatment?
This is your chance to explain exactly what happened. It is also the defense attorney’s chance to look for holes or inconsistencies in your story. We will rehearse this part thoroughly before your deposition to make sure you understand the questions and how best to answer them.
Current Condition (Physical and Otherwise)
This element of your testimony stands to benefit you the most. Speaking to your current condition allows you to establish the financial burden that has been placed on you since the accident. This, in turn, establishes how much compensation you are fighting for.
First and foremost, you will need to speak to your current physical condition. This refers to the medical treatment you need and the pain you are experiencing. However, it also refers to the way that your physical condition is impacting the rest of your life.
For example, many people are required to reduce their work responsibilities during recovery from an injury. This may impact your paycheck negatively or reduce your chances of upward mobility at work.
This is your chance to speak to any limitations placed on your life due to the accident. These limitations can be physical, emotional, and financial.
How Long Will You Have to Prepare?
The good news is that you will always have time to prepare for your deposition. We will be an active part of that preparation process.
In the state of Texas, anyone who files for a deposition must provide a minimum of 20 days’ notice to everyone involved. That gives us a minimum of almost three weeks to go over the facts of your case. In the end, we’ll never let you go into a deposition feeling unprepared.
Need a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer? McMinn Law Firm Can Help
If you are preparing to file a personal injury claim, it is helpful to know what to expect from personal injury cases, as a whole. The personal injury deposition is often your first opportunity to testify on the record. We’re here to help you succeed.
If you believe that you have grounds to file a personal injury claim, contact us for a free case evaluation. We’re proud to represent the citizens of Austin, TX, and win them the compensation they deserve.
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