If you have experienced a vehicle accident, whether by your design or by that of the other party involved in the crash, you may find yourself involved in a court case. Once your case is filed in court, you will be required to answer questions under oath for the insurance company’s lawyers.
Answering verbal questions under oath is called a “deposition.” A car accident deposition helps to establish facts and get to the bottom of what really happened at the time of the incident. It is very important that you are ready when you speak before a court and that you know what to expect when you testify under oath.
Preparing for Your Car Accident Deposition
- Speak to an attorney before you give your deposition. An attorney can help you put your facts and observations in the most useful order. They can also assist you with how to phrase what happened.
- Review your materials. If you have documents or written notes, go over them before the case. Familiarize yourself with them so you are comfortable speaking about them.
- Get enough sleep the night before. Sleep helps your memory, your frame of mind, and your clarity.
During Your Car Accident Deposition
- Tell the truth. This is the most important rule. You may be required to give sworn testimony more than once. If you’re telling the truth, your story will not change and there will be no inconsistencies. Always be as concise as possible.
- Remain calm. Speaking in front of the insurance company lawyer and court reporter can be intimidating, no matter the circumstances! It doesn’t help if the attorney asking you questions becomes short-tempered or aggressive. No matter what happens, keep a clear, level head and do your best to keep your cool.
- Ask for a break if you need one. If the car accident deposition runs long, ask your attorney to request a break. This will give you the opportunity to use a restroom, have a drink or snack, and regroup.
- Be short and concise. Say as much as you need to, but do not say more. The attorney asking questions will want to gain as much information as they can to use to their own advantage. Answer questions but do not volunteer information. Remember, this is a fishing expedition, and the other side would like to paint a picture that benefits themselves, not you.
- Avoid humor or vague sounds. It can be tempting to say something you consider funny while giving your car accident deposition. Avoid this. What you consider funny may be misinterpreted as disrespect. Avoid overusing “um” or “uh-huh” or other such filler sounds. Always use words. Say “yes” or “no” rather than nodding your head.
- Never speculate. It’s okay to say you do not know or are unsure. Do not guess about distances, vehicle colors or any other information. Only provide estimates if requested.
Prepare for Your Car Accident Deposition with Steven A. Bagen & Associates
If you had a car accident that was not your fault, our attorneys will file your lawsuit in court and help you prepare to give a proper deposition. You need an attorney who can help you prepare: Contact Steven A. Bagen & Associates today!