Depositions are a key aspect of many personal injury claims. As explained by the Washington Courts, depositions—which can be conducted either by an oral examination or written questions—are part of the discovery process in personal injury cases. Should your case move deeper into the claims process, the insurance company may request an on-the-record deposition from you.
The deposition matters. A strong, consistent deposition can move your claim towards a favorable settlement. In contrast, a sloppy or ill-prepared deposition may undermine your ability to recover full and fair financial compensation. Below, our Spokane insurance denial attorneys offer five rules for giving an effective deposition in a personal injury case.
1. Proper Preparation is Crucial—Get Organized
First and foremost, it is imperative that you take the time to prepare for an insurance company deposition. The best thing you can do to protect your legal rights is to hire an experienced Washington personal injury lawyer who can both prepare you for and represent you at the deposition. While being deposed by the insurance company is stressful, it is a lot easier when you are well prepared.
2. Avoid Speculating or Giving Opinions
One of the biggest mistakes that injured victims make is talking too much. While you have a duty to give factual information, you have absolutely no responsibility to speculate or to give your opinions. Those are not appropriate questions for the insurance company to be asking. Your lawyer can object. Keep your answers short, straightforward, and pointed at the basic facts.
3. Do Not Answer Questions You Do Not Understand
In some cases, insurance company attorneys ask long-winded or otherwise confusing questions. Never assume that you are doing something wrong simply because you do not understand what is being asked. It may be a tactic by the opposing lawyer. If you do not understand the question, do not answer. Let your attorney sort things out.
4. Remember You Can Take Your Time When Answering
Often, injured victims feel pressure to give quick and snappy answers. Sometimes, this can be a mistake. While a couple of seconds can feel like an eternity during a deposition, you can and should take your time and give well thought out answers. Do not rush it. There is nothing wrong with pausing and thinking before giving an answer.
5. Never Make a False or Intentionally Misleading Statement
Finally, you should never lie or give intentionally false information during a deposition. A deposition is sworn testimony. Not only is providing false statements a legal violation, but it will almost certainly cause serious damage to your case.
Call Our Spokane Insurance Denial Attorneys Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Washington personal injury lawyers are skilled, aggressive advocates for our clients. If you have any questions or concerns about preparing for a deposition in a personal injury case, we can help. To get a free case evaluation, please contact us today. We represent injured victims in Spokane and throughout the region, including in Eastern Washington.