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Your Deposition is the Most Important Thing You Will do in Your Florida Personal Injury Case

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Dec 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

Your deposition is the most important thing that you will do in your Florida personal injury case. 

You were injured in an accident.  The case did not settle and you had to file a lawsuit. During the lawsuit, you will be required to give a deposition.  By far, your deposition will be the most important thing act that you will take in your case.  If you hit a home run in your deposition, the case could settle in short order.  If you strike out, the case will not settle and the insurance company will dig in their heels even further.

There is only one reason for you to lay an egg in your deposition and that is because you were not PREPARED FOR THE DEPOSITION.  If you are adequately prepared for the deposition, you will not lay an egg.  You may not hit a home run but you will definitely not strike out.  I've been involved hundreds of depositions representing insurance companies and their clients and represented people Injured in accidents. The key component to a strong deposition, is adequate preparation.  I can tell you that on dozens of dozens of occasions when I was doing work for insurance companies, I walked out of the deposition and asked myself – did that lawyer even talk to their client? If the extent of your lawyer's deposition preparation for you is him telling you to “just tell the truth” your preparation is inadequate because it goes without saying that you must tell the truth in your deposition.

Deposition

A deposition is a sworn statement under oath.  A court reporter will be transcribing everything that is said into booklet form.  Sometimes depositions are also captured on video for playback at a later time.

Purpose of Deposition

A deposition is one of the oral discovery tools.  One of the main purposes of a deposition is to get a handle on the type of witness the deponent (person being deposed) makes.  If the deponent is the person making an injury claim the more credible the person, the easier the case becomes.

Areas of Questioning in the Deposition of an Injured Person

Attorneys have a lot of leeway in the types of questions that can be asked.  Under Florida law, one of the only times an attorney will instruct the witness not the answer a question is when it infringes on attorney/client privilege or the questioning becomes harassing.  If you're giving a deposition expect questions in the following categories:

  • Family background
  • Education
  • Work history
  • Prior accidents
  • Prior injuries
  • Prior lawsuits, divorce, bankruptcy
  • Past medical history
  • Facts of the accident for which you brought the lawsuit
  • Injuries received in the accident
  • Medical treatment received
  • Names of doctors seen in the last 10-15 years
  • Short term problems from the injuries
  • Long term problems from the injuries
  • Types of activities the injured person is no longer able to perform
  • Types of activities that the injured person has had to modify because of the injuries
  • Wage loss
  • Future wage and/or earning information

How you come off as a witness in your deposition make or break your personal injury case. All personal injury trial lawyers know what is going to be asked of their client(s) and they should know all the weaknesses of the case.  If the client is thoroughly prepared for his/her deposition the chance of striking out and blowing their case is little to none. Preparation is the key to good deposition testimony.

If you have any questions about a Florida personal injury case or need more information about the deposition process, call Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation box.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+

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