You should not say anything in a deposition that is not truthful and honest. The lawyer who represents you will make sure you are prepared for your deposition and may have additional advice on what you should and should not say. It can feel scary to attend a deposition on your own. Our lawyers can clarify the legal process and make it less intimidating.
If you are being deposed as part of a personal injury case, you will have to answer questions from the other party’s legal representatives. You will be under oath during your deposition and should bear this in mind at all times.
Do You Have To Answer Every Question You Are Asked in a Deposition?
According to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) guidelines, a deposition can be written or oral. In either case, the personal injury lawyer who handles your case may object to certain questions. Your lawyer may object to a question:
- To preserve privilege
- To enforce a court order
- To file or present a motion
An objection must be made in a specific manner and will become part of the official record of the proceedings. Despite an objection made by yourself or your lawyer, you may still be required to answer the questions you are asked.
Here are some things to consider when you are determining what you should and should not say in a deposition:
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Listen Carefully to Every Question Before Responding
Deposition questions can be complex and multifaceted. You may ask to have any question posed to you repeated. Before you answer any questions, make sure you understand exactly what is being asked of you.
You can take a deep breath and weigh each question over in your mind before responding.
Do Not Hesitate To Say You Do Not Have an Answer
In some cases, you may simply not know the answer to a question you are asked at a deposition. Avoid guessing or speculating at an answer and don’t allow yourself to feel pressured to provide a response.
If you do not know the answer, simply state that fact plainly. You should not rephrase the question or attempt to answer it in a roundabout way.
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Avoid Letting Emotion Guide Your Answers at Your Deposition
Personal injury cases are typically brought about because someone was injured or lost their life. As such, it can be difficult to answer questions objectively since emotions can run high months or years after the initial event. This can make it hard to avoid emotional outbursts.
The lawyer who represents you will help you contain your emotions and answer the questions you are asked in a clear and objective manner.
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Let Your Attorney Guide You During the Deposition
The attorney who represents you will have familiarity with state and local law regarding depositions. You should rely on your lawyer for guidance and support throughout the proceedings.
At any point during a deposition, you are allowed to ask your attorney for clarity. You can request clarity on a question, on your answer, or both. You also have the right to seek clarification from your lawyer in private if you prefer.
Provide Straightforward and Concise Answers
Think carefully before you respond to any questions and do not add unasked-for information or elaborate on your answers. Where warranted, you can respond with a simple yes or no without embellishment.
You should also avoid attempts to justify or validate your answers. Avoid rambling, becoming distracted, or getting lost in the weeds of a question that could lead you to inadvertently reveal too much information.
Allow Your Lawyer To Communicate With the Other Party’s Legal Team
For confidentiality reasons, you do not have to answer any questions about conversations between yourself and your lawyer. You should also allow your lawyer to communicate with the other party’s attorney for you.
Your Behavior Matters During Your Deposition
When you work with a lawyer during your deposition, they will do everything they can to help you feel prepared. Dress professionally, but comfortably, and do not make jokes or attempt to be evasive. Make every effort to appear calm, cool, collected, cooperative, and confident.
Contact Our Team To Discuss What You Should Not Say in a Deposition
As part of the process of a personal injury case, you may have to attend a deposition. The proceedings can be intimidating without legal support on your side. When our law firm represents you, we make sure you understand what you should and should not say in a deposition.
Contact our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to learn more about the deposition process today.
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