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What is a “deposition” in regards to a Los Angeles car accident case?

A deposition is a formal legal proceeding that occurs during the Discovery process of litigation in a Los Angeles car accident case. During a deposition, a car accident lawyer for either the Plaintiff or Defendant in a lawsuit takes the testimony of one of the parties, or a witness. A deposition usually occurs in one of the car accident attorneys’ offices or some other neutral location. There are several individuals who will be at the deposition. At the very least, you can expect to see car accident attorneys representing both the Plaintiff and Defendant; a stenographer or court reporter who will record everything being said at the deposition; and the person being deposed (the deponent). Modernly, depositions are also being recorded either audibly through use of a microphone, or visually though use of a video camera.

Once a deposition begins, you can expect to be put under oath. Thereafter the car accident attorneys will begin to ask you questions. You will notice that whatever is said during a deposition will be recorded by the stenographer or court reporter. To help the stenographer or court reporter, the car accident attorneys will likely ask you to speak clearly, and to avoid physical gestures when answering questions. Also, the car accident attorneys will ask you to clearly say “yes” or “no” when answering a question, instead of using more colloquial phrases such as, “uh-huh” or “nope.”

Depositions can vary in length. They can take as short as a few hours, or go on for days or even weeks depending on the complexity of your case. However, for Los Angeles car accident cases, most depositions only last a couple of hours. Because depositions are important discovery tools, it is important to be well prepared. Your Los Angeles car accident attorney should meet with you well in advance to discuss what questions you will likely be asked, how to phrase your answers, and what you can expect. It is essential that you choose a LA car accident lawyer who you trust, and who has experience taking depositions to ensure that your legal rights are effectively protected. Depending on how a deposition goes, it can make or break your case. For these reasons, take depositions seriously.

A few tips for preparing for a depositions are:
Make sure you are prepared.
• Ask your Los Angeles car accident attorney as many questions as you want so that you know what to expect from your deposition.
• Practice how you are going to answer certain anticipated questions regarding your case.
• Read over any documents or notes you have made regarding your case to refresh your memory about the facts surrounding the car accident.
Get to the deposition location promptly.
• The last thing you want is to miss a deposition date, or get to your deposition late.
Bring a snack with you.
• There will be breaks throughout the deposition for you to use the bathroom, and for lunch. Bring a snack with you to keep your energy up.
Dress appropriately
• A deposition is a formal proceeding. Dress as if you were going to court. As mentioned earlier, modernly a lot of depositions are recorded with video cameras, so you want to appear presentable, professional and credible.
Bring cash with you.
• Just incase you may need to pay for parking or if you want to buy some food nearby, bring some cash with you.
Do not bring other people with you.
• It would be unwise for you to bring someone with you to your deposition. Attorneys may ask you questions which you may not be comfortable answering around a friend or loved one. Moreover, you do not want to be distracted during a deposition.
Relax, stay calm, and tell the truth
• Depositions can be stressful and anxiety causing. Don’t let the stress of a deposition get to you. Just relax, stay calm and tell the truth and everything will be fine.

If you are scheduled to be deposed, or you have any questions regarding depositions, the experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at California Attorney Group would be more than happy to assist you. We have conducted hundreds of depositions in regards to car accidents in California. Do not hesitate to contact our friendly LA car accident attorneys toll free at 1-800-337-8547.