Tips for Depositions in Miami Personal Injury Cases

If you were injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you will need to participate in discovery to establish and narrow down the important facts in the case. As part of the process, it is likely that you will be called for a deposition by the legal counsel for the at-fault party. Florida civil procedure rules allow for depositions of parties, and these sessions are essentially an in-person interview where the opposing counsel will ask questions about the accident. 

A deposition might seem intimidating when you have never been through one, so it is helpful to know what to expect. Your testimony, given under oath, could have a major impact on your case. Fortunately, your Miami personal injury attorney will prepare you for the process and ensure you feel confident going in. Plus, some tips on appearing for your deposition should be helpful.

Understand Your Oath

There will be a court reporter present at your deposition, capturing an audio, video, and/or written record of the proceedings. The court reporter will also swear you in, and you should pay close attention to the language. You are required to provide truthful answers, and there can be consequences for false or misleading answers to questions. Not telling the truth under oath could be considered perjury, which comes with penalties. 

Provide Oral Responses

It is common for people to shrug, nod, or shake their heads to indicate answers to questions. The court reporter cannot capture the audio of a nonverbal response, so make sure you always answer with words instead of gestures. You should also avoid slang terms, such as “uh-huh” or “nah.” Make your Yes and No clear with statements.

Answering Questions

Your lawyer will guide you with responses, but keep in mind that you should only answer the question that was asked and nothing more. This comes up often when asked a closed-ended question that requires a simple answer: You should only reply with a Yes, No, date, or location. Do not provide additional information or offer details that were not requested.

Ask for Clarification

You might be confused by a question, perhaps because of the terminology, a cough or stutter by the person asking, or other circumstances. Never answer an inquiry unless you fully understand what information you should provide. You can ask the opposing attorney for clarification so that you can answer the question accurately. If the information requested is not within your knowledge, you should state, “I do not know.” Avoid guesses or speculation.

Rely on Your Miami Personal Injury Lawyer for Guidance

Above all, the most important tip for depositions in Florida accident claims is to consult with your attorney and follow recommendations that give an edge in your case. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA, will prepare you for the session, so please contact us to learn more about the legal process. You can call (305) 371-6000 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach.

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
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