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What To Expect At Your Deposition

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Overview and Insights from Washington Law Center

Facing a deposition can be a stressful experience, especially in personal injury cases such as car accidents or sexual abuse. At Washington Law Center, we understand the importance of being fully prepared, and we are here to support you through every step of the deposition process.

Understanding Depositions

A deposition is a key part of the discovery phase in legal proceedings. It allows the defense attorney to ask questions in a controlled environment before your trial. Unlike a trial, you will not be in front of a jury, and the responses you provide should be spontaneous rather than rehearsed. This process helps to put a real face to the insurance files and gives you the opportunity to present facts in your own words.

Preparing for Your Deposition

Before any deposition, you and your attorney will discuss issues specific to your case, questions you should expect and any concerns you have. Although every deposition is unique, the following should be considered in every case:

  • Dress Code: You should dress as if you are attending a formal meeting. While a suit and tie are not necessary, business casual attire is appropriate. Please avoid casual wear, such as sweats and shorts.
  • Transportation and technology: If your deposition is in-person, make sure you have reliable transportation and are familiar with the location so you do not get lost. If your deposition is through Zoom or over the phone, test your internet, speakers and microphone well in advance so you can log in smoothly and avoid interruptions. 
  • Review Prior Statements: We recommend reviewing any written statements you made during the discovery process to refresh your memory. If you do not have these documents, we will ensure you receive them in advance.

Deposition Scope and Duration

  • Scope of Questions: Depending on the nature of your claim, questions may vary in breadth. For shorter-term injuries, expect more focused questions; lifelong impairments might lead to a broader inquiry.
  • Personal Background: At the beginning of your deposition, questions will likely cover your residential history, employment history and education to establish a baseline understanding of your life prior to the incident.

Discussing the Incident and Prior Events

  • Previous Injuries and Medical History: If relevant, you will be asked about prior medical treatments or injuries to help determine whether and how they relate to your current claim.
  • Incident Details: You will be asked to provide detailed information about the incident itself, your actions before and after, and any available evidence such as photos or witness statements.

Injuries and Damages

  • This segment focuses on the specific injuries and damages you are claiming, exploring how they have affected your life and your reasons for pursuing certain treatments over others.

Legal Strategy and Preparation

  • Attorney Role: Your attorney will prepare you for the expected topics and help strategize your responses. It is crucial to communicate openly with your attorney about any concerns or questions.
  • Document Review: Make sure you are familiar with all relevant case documents to ensure your answers remain consistent and accurate.

Key Takeaways for a Successful Deposition

  1. Understand the Setting: Remember, a deposition is not a trial – it is a chance to explain your side of the story in a less formal environment.
  2. Be Prepared for Broad Questioning: While your answers should be truthful and spontaneous, being prepared on all fronts will help you respond confidently.
  3. Show Up Appropriately: First impressions matter – being punctual and dressing appropriately can influence not only the tone of the deposition, but how you are viewed by people evaluating your case.
  4. Review and Refresh: Go over all pertinent details of your case to ensure the clarity, consistency and accuracy of your testimony.

Conclusion

A deposition is a significant step in your legal journey, but with the right preparation, you can handle it with confidence and poise. At Washington Law Center, we are committed to providing our clients with the necessary support and guidance throughout this process. If you are preparing for a deposition, contact us today for expert advice and representation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ashton Dennis

Partner
Personal Injury Attorney

Ashton Dennis is a litigation and trial attorney at Washington Law Center focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered a serious personal injury or wrongful death. He was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers of Washington State and one of the “Premier 100” trial attorneys by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers in Washington. Click here to learn more about Ashton.

Personal Injury Attorney - Ashton Dennis - Tacoma, WA - Washington Law Center

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