If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Oklahoma, there is a possibility that you’ll be called upon to provide a deposition when your case goes to court. It can be intimidating to think about the probing questions that the opposing party will ask, and overwhelming to know that your entire case could be destroyed with just a few words. Your personal injury attorney will manage the specifics of preparing you for your deposition, but understanding what to expect will help you work through the process.
Purposes of a Deposition
A deposition is essentially an interview of a party or witness in a car accident case. It’s part of the discovery process where attorneys attempt to learn more about the incident by asking you questions. Typically, the lawyer for the opposing party will inquire about the facts leading up to the collision, the immediate aftermath of the accident, and the type and extent of medical treatment for your injuries.
Proper Preparation for a Deposition
Your attorney will provide details on how you should prepare for your deposition, but there are some general tips to keep in mind.
- Get a good night’s rest the night before the proceeding. If the facts of your case are extremely complex, the proceeding could last up to six hours under Oklahoma law regarding depositions;
- Show that you’re serious about the deposition proceedings and that you’re a credible witness/party by wearing business professional attire; and
- Avoid doing any independent research or reviewing documents unless instructed by your attorney. The opposing counsel will be asking you about the facts within your own knowledge.
How a Deposition Works in an Oklahoma Car Accident Case
First, the court reporter who is recording the deposition will ask you to swear under oath that your testimony is the truth. This means you are legally obligated to state the facts as you know them, and dishonesty is punishable by perjury. When questioning begins, keep in mind some guidelines:
- Only state facts you know from direct knowledge;
- Don’t speculate;
- If you don’t remember certain facts, say so; and,
- Always defer to your lawyer if you don’t know how to respond.
Of course, your Oklahoma car accident lawyer will take the time to help you prepare for a deposition and let you know what to expect. However, some general information about the process will give you some guidance on asking him or her the right questions. For more information on depositions or discovery in a personal injury case, please contact the Law Offices of Robert R. Robles today at (405) 232-7980.