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What Happens After a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?

Judge gavel and a stethoscope on a wooden desk

Personal injury cases can be incredibly complex, requiring lengthy legal proceedings in and out of court. One of these proceedings is known as the deposition. Depositions are importantto reaching a fair settlement in accident lawsuits, and your case’s success canhinge on how they go.

If you are preparing to sue someone, you may wonder, “What happens ina deposition in a personal injury case?” Depositions can be intimidating for people who file lawsuits, but, if you are prepared, they can go smoothly. However, you will want to prepare properly for your deposition to ensure an efficient legal process. 

Preparing for a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case

Depositions can be nerve-wracking, especially for those unfamiliar with Louisiana’s judicial system. With a well-prepared, strategic approach, though, you can stay confident and avoid common mistakes that may further complicate your case. An experienced New Orleans personal injury lawyer can help you prepare for a deposition and walk you through what may happen afterward.

What Are Depositions Like in Personal Injury Cases?

Many first-time defendants have misconceptions about legal proceedings like a deposition. You may think it involves a lot of shouting, intimidation, and conniving schemes to twist your words and trick you. However, depositions are much more civil in a personal injury lawsuit.

A legal deposition is a way for both parties to gather sworn testimonies from you (the claimant) and the person responsible for your injuries (the defendant). Attendance is mandatory. You must bring your lawyer and participate in the deposition once you receive word about it. 

Depositions play a significant role in determining the outcome of your case. However, as part of the discovery process, they do not occur in court. Your deposition will look more like a private meeting in an attorney’s office involving multiple people, including:

  • Claimant
  • Defendant
  • Claimant’s attorney
  • Defendant’s attorney
  • Court reporter
  • Videographer

What Questions Will You Need to Answer?

During a deposition, both parties will ask questions of the person testifying to get a clearer picture of the case. Your attorney may ask the negligent party about incident details and factors contributing to your injuries. Their lawyer will also ask you some questions.

Asking and answering questions is vital to determining what happens after a deposition in a personal injury case. You must answer to the best of your ability as depositions take place under oath. Some questions you may receive include the following:

  • Where do you currently live?
  • Have you ever filed a lawsuit before?
  • Do you have any underlying health conditions?
  • What events led up to the accident and injury?
  • What medical exams and treatment did you receive after the incident?
  • How has the injury affected your life?

As you can see, these questions are intentional and specific. Attorneys want every detail surrounding the accident to build a compelling case and influence settlement negotiations. 

How Do You Prepare for Deposition Questions?

Deposition questions dig into your case and piece it together from different perspectives. With a trusted personal injury lawyer by your side, you can go over sample questions and stay prepared for whatever you might face during a deposition. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while answering interrogatories:

  • Answer honestly. The most important aspect of a deposition is being truthful. False or misleading testimony under oath has severely negative affects on a claimant’s case.    
  • Speak clearly. Because a court reporter is writing down every word that is being said, it is important that you speak clearly and verbalize all responses.  Answers such as “uh huh” (yes) and “uh uh” (no) are difficult to transcribe.  
  • Wait until you hear the entire question. An attorney will ask various questions — some short and simple, others long and complicated. Take your time and think through each one before answering.

These are just a few tips for you to have a successful deposition. 

Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers to Help with Your Deposition

What happens after a deposition in a personal injury case often depends on how well you prepare. At The Voorhies Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you face the deposition process with confidence. Call us today at 504-875-2223 to schedule a consultation.