Massachusetts Personal Injury Deposition Tips for Plaintiffs
If you were injured due to negligence, you may find yourself involved in a lawsuit. If it is you (or your attorney) that filed the lawsuit then you are referred to as the plaintiff and the party you sued is the defendant.
A deposition is a part of the lawsuit process which you may be required to undergo. Whether it be a car accident case or other type of injury claim, most depositions work the same way. Note if your case is a workers’ compensation case you will not be expected to go to a deposition.
If you have a deposition coming it is important to know what to expect. Here are some basic deposition guidelines to consider if you are a plaintiff in a personal injury case with an upcoming deposition.
1) Know the date, day of the week, time, and location of the accident. Knowing as much specific information about your accident is best when walking into a deposition.
2) Know where and when you sought medical treatment for your injuries, and what your various medical providers provided by way of medical care to you.
3) Do not give flowery answers; keep your answers brief and only answer the question that is asked. Less is more in a deposition.
4) Do not get flustered or impatient with the defense attorney. Stay calm, relaxed and confident. The attorney wants to get under your skin. Don’t let that happen.
5) Review your answers to interrogatories well in advance of the deposition. You will definitely be asked about them.
6) Be prepared to discuss former accidents you have been involved in in the past and the injuries you sustained in those accidents. Any defense attorney would want to delve into past accidents you had.
7) NEVER ask the defense attorney a question. He asks the questions, not you.
8) Remember that everything said during the deposition is said under oath and is being taken down by the stenographer. Always remember that during your deposition.
9) Ask the defense attorney to repeat a question if you do not completely understand a particular question. Only answer if you heard and understood the question.
10) RELAX knowing that you have brought this lawsuit and that you are therefore in the driver’s seat; it is the defendant who should be nervous, not you.
Your personal injury attorney can help you further with the particulars of what to expect, but the preceding points apply across the board to all depositions in personal injury cases.