Will the Opposing Attorney Take My Deposition in a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Case?
Have you been injured due to another person’s reckless, negligent, or careless behavior? Did a distracted driver cause a car crash, a defective product cause serious injury, or a medical provider cause harm instead of helping? When another person injures you, you can find a legal remedy in Pennsylvania's personal injury laws. Of course, these injury laws can't undo the wrong that has been done, but they do provide a way to file a lawsuit and recover monetary compensation for your damages, injuries, and losses.
Now, we understand that taking legal action can be daunting. One of the concerns you may have when filing a personal injury lawsuit is being subpoenaed for a deposition by the opposing party.
What Is a Deposition in a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When you file a lawsuit, the other party has the right to take out-of-court testimony (like a deposition) of you and any potential witnesses you plan to present during the trial. In most personal injury lawsuits, the attorney for the defendant (the person you're suing) will take the plaintiff's deposition (that's you).
The defendant's attorney will want to know your version of events so they can prepare to refute your testimony if the case goes to trial. If the opposing attorney can find inconsistencies between your answers in the deposition and your testimony at trial, they could use this against you to try to convince the jury that you are dishonest.
However, your attorney will also be with you during the deposition, to object to any of the other attorney's questions or behaviors that are not permitted by law. Your attorney also gets to follow up with questions of their own, to help you clarify details or bring up additional helpful information. Your attorney also has the right to take the defendant's deposition, as well as any of their witnesses or experts. Any inconsistences in the defendant's testimony would then be used against them at trial.
What Will I Need to Do in a Deposition?
The deposition will involve questions you must answer truthfully. You are placed under oath at the beginning of the deposition by a court reporter, who will then record each question and answer. The deposition questioning will start out with asking for basic information, such as your name, birthday, and address.
Then the opposing attorney might ask you these questions (and related follow-ups) during the deposition:
- What is your marital status? Do you have children?
- Have you filed any claims or lawsuits in the past?
- What was your most recent job, and are you still employed there?
- Have you faced criminal charges before, or been convicted of a crime in the past?
- What was the setting of your accident or injury? How and when did things occur?
- What were your injuries?
- Have you received medical attention since the accident, and if so, when and where?
- Have your injuries changed your life to any degree?
Usually, any information within the past decade is fair game for the opposing attorney's line of questioning. Once complete, an official deposition record will be delivered to the attorney who requested the deposition, and a copy will be presented to the opposing side.
Protect Your Rights by Speaking with an Attorney
While fact-gathering is standard procedure, some attorneys who will purposefully try to undermine your case. If they can trigger an emotional response in a witness or get you to show uncertainty about what you recall, they can work to discredit you. Remember though, all you need to do at the deposition is calmly state the truth. If you are the victim of a personal injury accident, you need a reliable attorney to represent your interests and ensure your rights are not violated during the legal process. Hiring the right attorney will ensure you receive sound legal counsel—from the beginning of your case through to the deposition and the trial (if it comes to that).
How an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
Your attorney will accompany you in the deposition and ensure the other attorney acts fairly throughout the process. Before the deposition, tell your attorney everything about your accident so that they aren't surprised by any of your answers. Then your attorney can help you be confident and ready for the deposition itself.
Your personal injury attorney can help you prepare for:
- What to expect
- What documents to bring
- How to dress
- How to remain calm and respectful throughout the deposition
- And more
You can find the reliable, attentive representation you deserve when you hire an experienced personal injury attorney at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, LLC. Backed by more than a century of serving our communities, we are proud to be a law firm that our family, friends, and neighbors continue to rely on.
Our Attorneys Are by Your Side During Every Step of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
We understand that filing a personal injury lawsuit can be overwhelming, especially if this is the first time you've been in a courtroom or had to give a deposition. Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys understand. We make every effort to ensure that you are aware of each step in your case ahead of time, know what to anticipate, and are comfortable with what happens during the process. We are available to answer your questions whenever you need us and will work to protect your best interests.
Contact our office to schedule a free consultation by calling (888) 498-3023 or using our online contact form.