Preparing for and Giving a Deposition in Florida

If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury caused by the negligent or intentional actions of another individual, business, or entity, you will likely be able to recover some sort of compensation. However, securing this conversation challenging, particularly when going up against aggressive insurance carriers or at-fault parties. As part of the personal injury trial process, you may have to prepare for and give a deposition. Here, we want to define what a deposition is as well as what you can expect when preparing for and giving a deposition in Florida.

What is a Deposition?

After you and your attorney file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party in the injury case, this is when the “discovery phase” of the case will begin. The discovery phase consists of attorneys for both sides continuing to investigate the incident, gathering evidence, and exchanging evidence with the other side. This is also the part of the process where both sides will have a chance to ask clarifying questions of one another.

During the discovery process, it is not uncommon for attorneys for the plaintiff or the defendant to ask witnesses to sit for depositions. Depositions are when witnesses who have pertinent information related to the injury case will sit with attorneys for both sides and answer questions under oath with a court reporter present. The deposition will be recorded, transcripts will be provided to all parties, and anything said during a deposition can be used in an eventual trial.

How to Prepare for a Deposition in Florida?

Preparing for a deposition is crucial. In fact, many attorneys will set up “mock depositions” with witnesses so that every party is ready for any questions that may come up during the deposition. An attorney will review all the documents and records pertaining to the case and come up with the possible questions that the other attorney may ask.

When prepping for a deposition, one overlooked aspect is the importance of showing up to the deposition dressed appropriately and well-groomed. Even though a deposition does not take place in a courtroom, the person giving the deposition should show up as if they are going to court. Depositions are often dry runs for what an eventual trial may be like.

What You Will do During the Deposition

Attorneys for the opposing side will be able to ask a wide range of questions, some of which may not even seem to have to do with the case in question. When a person is asked to sit for a deposition, they need to be ready to face questions that could get them flustered or angry. However, it is best to avoid any displays of anger or frustration. A person giving a deposition should have their attorney with them so they can step in to help them through any stressful questions or even object to a line of questioning they disagreed with.

Depositions are given under oath, which means that anything a person says needs to be truthful to the best of their ability. In understanding that depositions are given under oath, it is important only to answer questions that are asked and not give any additional information. The person giving the deposition should never try to guess at an answer if they are not completely sure. It is certainly acceptable to say “I do not remember” or “I do not know” when answering questions during a deposition.

When a deposition is completed, the court reporter will transcribe the entire event and provide records to attorneys for both sides. The attorneys will have a chance to review the transcript to look for any mistakes or inconsistencies.