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If you're entering into a personal injury suit, you'll likely have to give a deposition. A deposition is a pre-trial statement, given under oath, with representatives from both parties present to witness the testimony. The judge assigned to the case won't be there yet—but a court reported is typically hired to take a transcript of the statements.
The formal setting of the deposition, when combined with the stakes of the personal injury suit, create a difficult, nerve-wracking time for the plaintiff. That's why it's important to keep a few key points in mind as you prepare for the deposition phase of your suit.
Key Point #1—You Are Not On Trial
It's natural for people to have a subconscious reaction to a courtroom setting. There is a connotation of courtrooms and court proceedings in popular culture that impress the weight of the situation on everyone present. Depending on your mindset, this can create a feeling of excitement or one of severe anxiety.
The important thing to remember is that you aren't the one on trial. It's a good idea to remind yourself of this fact repeatedly in the days leading up to your deposition. You'll be much better equipped to enter into your deposition and give a concise, effective statement if you do.
Key Point #2—The Defense Attorney Is Your Opponent
You can't predict how the defense attorney will treat you at your deposition. In some circumstances, the attorney might seem like a really nice person who's just trying to get to the bottom of a nasty situation. In others, they might treat you like you're the worst human being they've ever encountered. Either can be unsettling if you're not ready for it.
Remember, it's their job to throw you off of your plan. This is their only chance to speak directly to you before your trial, and they're going to take full advantage. Understand this beforehand, don't take anything personally, and you'll come out on top.
Key Point #3—You Don't Know Everything
A wise person once said, "The devil is in the details." Since there's likely a particular incident or series of events at the heart of your deposition, you'll field a lot of questions with specific answers. Some of these questions will be extremely specific—and you might not know the answers to them all.
That's fine. While it's human nature to feel like a lack of specific knowledge will diminish your case, it doesn't. It's always better to state plainly that you do not know than it is to guess and be proven incorrect. Most times, a simple "I don't know" is the best answer you can give.
These points will help you stay calm and deliver the best possible statement you can during your deposition. Consider them before the big day, and remind yourself of them as you go through the process. Also, make sure you discuss your case with a lawyer from a firm like http://gomezmaylaw.com/. You'll be glad that you did.