Most car accident claims settle without ever going to court. However, when parties cannot come to a fair settlement and a lawsuit is filed a process known as “discovery” (or a formal investigation), will take place to get more facts about the case. And deposition is one of the discovery tools that attorneys use during this process.

In essence, a deposition is an oral testimony based on a series of questions asked by an opposing counsel to get each party’s account of what happened at the time of the accident. Depositions don’t take place in courtrooms. Instead, they usually take place in attorneys’ offices. The deposition is taken under oath with a court reporter on hand to record the testimony word-for-word. Sometimes an attorney will make an audio or video recording of the deposition.

The opposing side is taking your deposition for several reasons:

  • They want to establish what facts you know concerning the issues in the lawsuit. They are interested in knowing now the contents of your trial testimony.
  • They want to document a specific story on record so that you will have to tell the same story at trial. This eliminates surprises and any unexpected new information so it is important to remain truthful for consistency.
  • They hope to catch you in any type of misstatement so that they can show at the trial that you are not a truthful person and, therefore, that your testimony should not be believed on any of the points, particularly the crucial ones.
  • They want to look at you, observe your manner of answering questions, and form an impression of the type of witness you will be in court. Perhaps this last consideration is the most important, for the lawyer is really trying to determine the probable effect your testimony will have on an impartial listener (the jury).


Just like your attorney will try to secure an admission of liability from the defendant, the legal representation for the defense will try to gain information to lessen their extent for fault and damages for your injuries. And in order to do that you will also be deposed. Preparation is a key and your attorney will help you prepare for your deposition.

Be ready to answer questions concerning your personal background, your medical history, information about the accident, injuries and medical treatment you’ve received since the accident.

The opposing attorney will ask you to provide as much information as you can recall about the accident. If you cannot remember certain details, it is OK to admit this. It is also OK to ask the attorney to clarify a question you do not understand.

Wait until the question is completed before beginning your answer. Although you may anticipate the end of the question, you may guess incorrectly, and as a result, answer incorrectly. Secondly, your attorney may want to object to the question. The objection is lost if you answer too quickly.

Be ready for the defendant’s attorney to “go fishing” for slip ups in the story and expect some seemingly unrelated or random questions. For this reason, it is very important that you are careful in what you say, take your time, and do not provide more information that you are asked. The more you talk during a deposition, the more you might risk contradicting yourself, even if it’s not on purpose.

Always tell the truth. This should go without saying, never lie during the deposition, your answer should not vary because of the effect you think the answer will have on the case. Avoid the temptation to adjust your answer in accordance with its possible consequences. Just give the facts. Remember that you have no purpose to serve other than to give the facts as you know them.

We always tell our clients – preparation is a key. Actually, giving your deposition is not difficult if we are well prepared, confident, and relaxed.