If you’re a plaintiff in a Florida injury lawsuit, particularly one that’s on track to trial, it’s likely at some point you’ll need to undergo a deposition. It can be an intimidating prospect, but a skilled West Palm Beach injury lawyer can help ensure you are fully prepared.
A deposition is a sworn statement given outside of a courtroom, but still under oath. They’re transcribed by a court reporter, and these days often video recorded. Sometimes, depositions can be done remotely. This isn’t generally the preferred method unless there are special circumstances (i.e., the witness lives far away). However, it is one that has become increasingly more common since COVID had virtually everyone on virtual video conferencing apps.
What is the Point of a Deposition?
In tort cases, depositions can prove pivotal in gathering information and evidence that will be key to the case. In general, both sides are going to leverage the deposition to question witnesses and:
- Establish the events that led to the injury.
- Detail the medical treatment plaintiff received as a result of the injury.
- Delve into the impact the injury has had on plaintiff’s ability to work, personal relationships, and overall quality of life.
- Identify inconsistencies in testimony.
- Glean information from expert witnesses (if there are any) about their analysis, processes, and conclusions.
When a plaintiff undergoes a deposition, they should know that defense lawyers are likely looking for any statements that might:
- Indicate you share part of the blame for what happened.
- Implicate a pre-existing condition as the primary cause of your injuries.
- Show your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.
- Reveal life hasn’t been as significantly impacted as you claim.
- Uncover that you have not been fully truthful or consistent in your claims.
All of this can make a plaintiff feel very much “on the offensive.” It’s easy to get flustered, get loud, misspeak, etc. But when you know this is coming, you can better maintain your composure and complete the deposition without damaging your case.