Many situations can lead to lawsuits. If you decide to go this route because a product harmed you. Maybe a driver hit your vehicle and injured your plaintiff, which means the individual bringing the lawsuit against another person or entity, you might, or you fell in a store.
Any time you have expenses or pain and suffering, and you feel like you can legally hold another person or entity liable for what took place, you can certainly do that. You’ll need to locate a competent lawyer, preferably one who has had experience bringing suits like yours in the past.
As you move closer to the trial, you can expect the opposing counsel to depose you. That might sound a little scary, but your lawyer will be there with you while it happens.
Here’s what you can expect at a deposition
The Discovery Phase
For this article, let’s say you’re bringing a car accident lawsuit against another driver. You stopped at a red signal, and the other driver rear-ended you, which caused whiplash. You suspect that the other driver was texting when it happened, so they were not paying close enough attention to their surroundings.
There will be a part of the trial process called discovery. This takes place before you and the other driver ever enter the courtroom.
This is when both the prosecution and the defense are gathering as much information as possible to use against each other. This process may very well take some time, depending on how simple or complex the lawsuit is.
What Exactly is a Deposition?
The deposition is where you sit down somewhere with your lawyer, and the opposing counsel will be there as well. This often takes place in the plaintiff or the defendant’s counsel’s offices. It does not take place in a courtroom.
The deposition will occur after you have counsel, and the other driver does as well. Under no circumstances should you go to a deposition alone.
The only exception maybe if you’re a trial lawyer yourself and you are acting in your defense. That’s the only time when you might know the law well enough to understand if any questions the opposing counsel is asking you are out of line.
They’ll Ask You Several Questions About the Accident
In the scenario that we described, where the other driver hit your vehicle from behind, their counsel will ask you a series of questions about the accident. They might ask you things like what time of day it was, what the weather was like, whether you had ingested any alcohol or other substances that day, and many more.
They might already know the answer to a lot of these questions, but they’re trying to trip you up or get you to make a contradictory statement to what their client already told them. They’re trying to compile a case against you for when this reaches the trial portion.
Because of this, you might feel nervous. However, you don’t need to be. It’s likely the whole ordeal will be more boring than anything else.
If the opposing counsel asks you anything inappropriate, your lawyer can interject on your behalf. You can also stop and ask them for advice at any time. They are there to help you. That’s why you hired them.
This is a Formal Proceeding
Before the deposition begins, you will swear you’re going, to tell the truth, just as you would in a courtroom. As long as you’re sure what happened was the other driver’s fault, there should be no reason for you not to disclose anything.
You should never lie or embellish anything during a deposition. That could hurt your lawsuit if the opposing counsel finds out about it and brings it up later.
It’s possible that after the deposition, the opposing counsel might suggest that their client make you a settlement offer. If the other driver agrees, that could be a tacit admission that they know they could lose the lawsuit. You’ll need to decide whether the settlement will make up for what happened.
If the settlement offer is too low, you can turn it down and go to trial. It’s also possible that at some point during the trial process, the other driver might increase the settlement amount to try a second time to avoid a verdict in your favor.
The deposition isn’t going to be pleasant, but you need to go through it if you’re serious about your lawsuit.