When your loved one decides to file a lawsuit against those responsible for their abuse, there are some steps in the process that you should be aware of. One of these steps is the deposition process. While not all personal injury cases include a deposition, many of them do. If your loved one has been deposed, they need to understand how to handle this experience. With the information on this page, you can help your loved one prepare. Read on for more information.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is a meeting of certain parties in a case before that case goes to trial. The purpose of this meeting is to help one party in the lawsuit gather evidence to support their case. If your loved one gets deposed, this means that the other party’s attorney will ask your loved one questions about their experience. The lawyer is hoping to learn certain pieces of information, such as:
- If your loved one’s story has any inconsistencies.
- How sympathetic your loved one’s situation will appear to a judge or jury.
- Aspects of their experience that could be exploited in court.
While this can be nerve wracking, tell your loved one not to panic. Their lawyer can be present to make sure that no inappropriate questions are asked. As long as your loved one is calm and answers the questions honestly, they will do just fine.
There are a few different types of people present. First, of course, there is the person being deposed. That person is allowed to have a lawyer present to guide them and represent their interests. If your loved one does not have a lawyer yet, it is a good idea to hire one before they are deposed. This is in your loved one’s best interest. Also present at the deposition will be the other party’s attorney. The other party will not be present, so you will not have to deal with that issue. Instead, your loved one will deal directly with the other party’s attorney. This is the person who will be asking the questions during the deposition.
Finally, there will be a court reporter at the deposition. The court reporter will be a representative of the court. They will swear your loved one in, just as a person would be sworn in in a court of law. Once sworn in, your loved one needs to give honest and accurate testimony. The court reporter will then oversee the deposition. He or she will record the questions and answers and create an accurate transcription for future records. Each party involved in the deposition will get a copy of the transcript to help them build their cases.
Helping Your Loved One
A deposition can seem overwhelming to your loved one. But, it is your job to assure them that there is nothing to worry about. While you can’t be present during the deposition, you can bring your loved one there. You can wait outside for moral support. You can help your loved one prepare for the deposition. Help them feel confident by making sure that they are wearing appropriate clothing. Your loved one should wear formal clothing to the deposition. They should also be prepared to give simple, accurate answers. Tell your loved one to avoid using fillers like “um” or “like,” avoid swearing, and avoid answering questions with gestures instead of words. These forms of expression will make it difficult for the court reporter to write down everything.
This is some basic information about the deposition. If your loved one is deposed, try to keep them calm. To make sure that their rights are protected, contact a lawyer.