If you are involved in a major traffic wreck, chances are you will be asked to give a deposition. This is when the opposing lawyer asks you questions. Most of these questions will be about what happened at the crash and about your recovery.
This can be stressful but you will not go it alone. I always prepare my clients by going over the questions to expect.
Here are two simple rules for giving a deposition.
Number one is to tell the truth. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. You will be under oath and Alabama law has some severe penalties if you lie. By severe I mean years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Rule number two is not to speculate or guess. This is a very hard concept for some people to understand.
Here is an example of speculation. The opposing lawyer asks you, “Was there no way possible for you to avoid the accident?” Your answer could involve you guessing. A good answer is to say, “I saw no way at the time.” This is a statement based on the facts since you really didn’t see any other action or you would have taken it. We’ve all heard the old saying, “Hindsight is always 20/20”, but a deposition is not the time to second guess yourself. Remember, the reason you’re in the deposition in the first place is because the at-fault driver caused a wreck with you. So, focus your testimony on the actual facts, not the “what if” scenarios.
The opposing attorney can seem nice and most people want to be helpful, but a deposition is not a chat with friends. That lawyer is there to save his client and their insurance company money and that means he wants less money for you.
Hurt in a car crash? You can talk to us at Eiland and Ritchie for free. There is no charge unless we collect for you. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Alabama personal injury lawyer