Tips for a Personal Injury Deposition in Portland

When you are hurt due to the negligence of another person, you may file a personal injury claim in Portland, an opportunity for you to request that the at-fault party pay for your damages. A component of that process will be a personal injury deposition, an opportunity for the other party to question you and gather information about what occurred. These tips for a personal injury deposition in Portland are critical to consider before heading into any such event.

What Is a Deposition in Portland?

A deposition is a process in which you have to answer questions about what occurred and what you are claiming by the attorney or other representative of the at-fault party. This is done under oath, which means you must tell the truth, or you could face consequences for not doing so. In short, the lawyer for the other side has the right to ask you questions. A court reporter will document each word stated during the process, and a transcription of that deposition will be made accessible.

It is critical that you complete the deposition, if one is required, as it allows the defense to determine if they can find opportunities to reduce a settlement owed to you or even deny it. In a court of law, this information could influence the decisions a judge or jury makes about awarding damages to you. For this reason, it is critical that the deposition is accurate, complete, and completed confidently.

Depositions are taken as a part of the discovery process that allows attorneys to gather evidence and facts in the case that they can better use to inform decisions related to settlements, denials, or defense strategies. It also provides a way for the attorney to better evaluate witnesses so they know how to proceed with the case. You will be asked questions related to your health, your injury, what happened to cause this, and how it impacted your life.

Know What to Expect During a Deposition

When you work with our personal injury attorneys in Portland, we will help you prepare for a deposition by offering insight into what questions you may be asked and how to answer them. It is critical to take this process seriously as it can directly impact the compensation you recover in your case. Our attorneys will guide you through questions like the following:

  • What is your current health status?
  • Are you able to do the things you need to do to work?
  • What type of health problems did you have before your accident?
  • What type of medical care are you getting?
  • When do you plan to go back to work?

These questions will generally begin with a few minutes of encouragement and ice-breaking questions so that the attorney can put you at ease, but you do not want to let your guard down in this process. Our attorneys will guide you in questions you can expect in your specific situation. Remember that the only party working to support you in this case is your personal injury attorney.

Simple Tips to Make Depositions Easier to Manage

During the entire process, you should consider your answers carefully, only providing facts and not opinions. You also want to be positive and polite, as defensiveness can be problematic. Here are some tips that could help you to manage a successful deposition with less frustration or negative outcomes:

  • Do not answer a question until the attorney completes the full question. It is okay to take your time to answer, too.
  • Do not guess at an answer to a question. If you do not know the answer, state that. Do not say, “I guess so.”
  • Monitor your body language throughout the process. Avoid shaking your head in agreement or disagreement with the attorney as they are asking questions.
  • You are under oath, which means you have to answer accurately and honestly, and even small omissions or untruths can lead to questioning all of your answers later.
  • Speak clearly so that there is no question about how you are answering a question, and avoid saying “um-uh” or using slang when possible.
  • Answer in short statements when possible, as the longer the statement or explanation is, the more chance there is for you to make a mistake.

When asked about your health, know that your health history before the accident is important and relevant to the case because it can indicate any situation in which you may have preexisting conditions. Answer accurately since attorneys can obtain copies of your medical reports to verify this information. Typically, they will ask you about your doctor, your baseline health, and when you last saw your primary care physician.

Answer Questions About the Accident Carefully

When you meet with our Portland personal injury attorneys, we will go through very specific ways to answer questions about the accident, but there are a few things to remember. They will ask where you were going, who you were with, and the road conditions. They are also likely to ask you if you used any substances beforehand, if you had on a seat belt, and details about your mental health, all with the goal of gathering as much information as possible to ensure you were not at fault.

Outline the Impact on Your Life Carefully

A component of this process is to discuss the impact this incident had on your life, and this is where you need to show the physical and emotional impact you are suffering through as a result of the accident. Avoid the opportunity to exaggerate, but do discuss what you cannot do any longer, any pain you feel, the limitations on your relationships, and how your day-to-day life has changed. Be honest about the way this incident has impacted you.

Let Us Prepare You for Your Deposition

At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we have the experience you can rely on to navigate depositions in Portland with success. Contact our experienced law firm now to learn more about the tips we can offer to you. We are happy to offer a free consultation to get you started.