Get you talking– Depositions are not usually the confrontational events that you see on TV. Most good defense attorneys instead try the “get you talking” approach. If they can get you talking without really thinking, they may get you to overstate your case or miss key facts. They can then later cross-examine you as either mistaken about your perceptions, or worse, a liar. Therefore, it simply is important to tell the truth in depositions and don’t exaggerate or guess.
Police Reports– A few areas are common pitfalls in most personal injury depositions. First, the complaints that you had at the scene and emergency room. Sometimes, people don’t complain at the time of the wreck because their adrenaline is still pumping. So, they tell the officer they think that they are ok. The officer writes down “no complaints of pain” which is a 5 on the accident report. Later, when asked, you may think that you were having complaints at the scene. The last thing that you want is to go against the word of a police officer. At best, the officer failed to write down such complaints, and it is not a good argument in court.
Medical records– Second, in the emergency room, the doctors and nurses are busy. They are typically focusing on a particular area of the body. Also, you may not complain about the smaller injuries. For example, you may have broken your arm, but you also have some neck and back pain. You and your doctor may have only talked about your arm. That may be all that is mentioned in your records. That is fine and understandable. However, you should be careful to testify in depositions about complaints or pain levels that are not written down. The sad fact is that jurors will believe what the doctor wrote more than they will believe you. So, just be careful to not position yourself against the medical chart, or if it is true don’t make a big deal about it. You could say, I believe that I said my neck and back hurt but if the doctor didn’t write that down I can accept that. If you would like some more information, click on what to expect in an injury deposition.