So I Have A Deposition On Wednesday... Nervous?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SamIchi, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #1
    I don't really know what to expect. I'm gettin sued for over a million bucks, but the lawyer says this is normal practice and happens a lot (I wrote about this in another topic last year). I hit someone and totalled my car in 2003, and their car (minivan) I think had some damage to the bumper. They're suing for "other" reasons.

    So who has been through something like this and could you give me a little of what is to be expected? The whole deal seems really wierd to me. I know I don't have anything big to worry about since my lawyer said this is normal practice, but still.
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    I've been through it. I hit someone (or so the police say. I beg to differ, as did one of the 2 witnesses, but I digress). She faked injuries (my lawyer did research, and she has a history of pulling the "I'm injured" crap. She's been in more car accidents than average and fell down at public places several times too, all resulting in lawsuits), and even though I barely tapped her car, claimed I caused over $500,000 in damages and medical bills and whatnot. It figures that of all the 3 million people in the St. Louis area, I had to hit a thieving, lying, deceptive old bitch.

    Anyways, I had to give a deposition as well. It was her lawyer, my lawyer and my brother who was in the car with me at the time of the accident. Both lawyers each asked me questions about the accident. Where I was coming from, where was I going. Why was I going where I was going. Was I drunk (she claimed I was...I wasn't. I didn't even drink at that time period. Had the police had any suspicion when they talked to me, they would've given me a sobriety test). Was I on the phone. Was I distracted. What do I remember, blah blah blah.

    Long story short, our lawyers settled it. Not sure of the exact amount, but it's either at or under my policy limit, and my only out-of-pocket expenses during this whole ordeal was the gas to and from my lawyer's office. And, I suppose the insurance rate increase, which just went off my record last month. Yay.

    I wouldn't be too nervous. Just be honest. And something my lawyer told me was to give as little detail as possible. When you can, just answer "yes" or "no". Your lawyer will advise you as to how to respond to the question, will object if a question seems unfair or whatever. Just listen to them and you'll do fine.
     
  3. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #3
    Yeah, in general, only answer the exact questions asked, never give away any extra information.
     
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #4
    The iron rule is: Don't volunteer any information. Don't explain anything. Answer the questions asked giving the least possible amount of information. If a question is not clear tell them that you don't understand the question. Think before you give any answer. If there is an awkward silence, that is good. Awkward silence is your friend.

    To help, you might pretend that for every single word you say you have to pay twenty dollars in cash out of your own pocket to the opposing lawyer. Answer accordingly.
     
  5. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a

    DZ/015

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    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Been through this before. Just think of yourself as the lamb and the lawyer taking the deposition as the wolf. You will be treated nicely to put you off, don't fall for it. Do not give anything other than the facts.

    Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
     
  6. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #6
    I went through this once, but my insurance companies took care of keeping it out of court for me. People like this are the reason why its a good idea to take out an umbrella policy if you have large assets that could be lost.

    Basically the car in front of me stalled i tapped their rear end at around 5mph, did $200 of damage to the trim of their Cadillac, $500 damage to my BMW's bumper. They tried to claim that they were injured, the insurance lawyers basically figured out that this person was and i quote "the bionic man" as in if there was ever a pre-existing condition or part you can have replaced medically he had it done. They also had a history of falling in stores and other things to bring suits like this to court, so they questioned that the whole incident wasn't planned out.

    I wouldn't worry too much, i would think that you are leveraging your insurance and their attorneys are helping out here. Insurance companies hate to pay out, especially when the loss is questionable. There is the off chance that they will win, but given what you just stated about their past I highly doubt it. Judges frown on frivilous suits, its a waste of time and money. Thats most likely what this case is, frivilous.

    Whatever you do, do not talk to the opposing counsel at all. Only answer what is asked, even if you know more, do not volunteer any additional information beyond what you are asked.

    Good Luck!

    Ed
     
  7. Roric macrumors regular

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    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    WI
    #7
    Never been through it myself, but I agree with all that is said above. Especially the give as little information as possible.

    If asked, "Do you know what time it is?", reply, "Yes.", not "It's 10:45."
     
  8. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #8
    Ok thanks for the shared experiences, it helps a lot. The people are suing me and another person that hit me from behind so it's like a double thing.

    I just got a call this morning saying that it's postponed again, it's been almost been 2 years since this started. I just wanted to get it over with.
     
  9. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #9
    Hmm, isn't there a statute of limitations on these things?
     
  10. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

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    May 20, 2004
    #10
    The advice to say as little as possible is very good advice. Like others have said, even if you're 99% certain that you know the exact meaning of the question you're being asked, ask them to clarify the question. If nothing else, this gives you time to think carefully about your answer and makes sure that they're aware that they have to be clear and precise in their questioning.
     
  11. Turkish macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2007
    #11
    Why should you have to say anything?

    You don't have to by law.
     
  12. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #12
    Statue of Limitations? Hah sorry for the Seinfeld refrence I had to :D I'm not sure if there is here. I'm not too big on law. But it's been a hella long time.

    Well I thought that's what the deposition was for to aks and answer questions.

    Here's a question. What if they ask a question and I can't honestly remember. I mean it's been more than 3 years. Can I just tell them I'm not sure or I don't remember.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #13
    Your lawyer will advise you. But yeah, they can't honestly expect you to remember every little detail
     
  14. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    RI -> CA -> ME
    #14
    Yeah, I had the same thing. My fault accident, but lady was suing for lots of money.

    In the end the insurance companies settled it out.

    During the deposition they ask you all kinds of stuff, often about the same thing, trying to get any inconsistencies they can.

    Don't volunteer any information.
    Act like each word will give you a paper cut :)
     
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #15
    Sort of funny, since most people can usually negotiate with the insurance companies for something near the policy limit themselves -- or get a lawyer to help them negotiate out of court for a nominal fee.

    But as soon as they see a lawyer, listen to this big dollar lawsuit spiel -- they usually get roped into paying the lawyer a third, so the lawyer can sue and settle for the policy limit.
     
  16. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #16
    I've been rear-ended twice - at probably less than 5mph. There wasn't any noticeable damage to my car (a 1990 Honda Civic at the time). And both my mother and my wife have tripped on loose kerbstones/sidewalk slabs and ended up with badly gashed hands and legs (separate incidents about 20 years apart).

    None of us even thought about suing.

    So, we could have ended up with thousands if we'd played it right?
     
  17. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #17
    So, if you got hit from behind and then pushed into the thief in front of you, how is it even your fault? I wouldn't even think the lawsuit against you could get as far as it has.


    Probably, since everyone sues everyone in America. But those people lack a conscience. I couldn't sue anyone for injuries if I wasn't really injured, I don't think I could live with myself, even with the payoffs as big as they are. I was rear ended by a Grand Cherokee (old women+SUVs are a bad combination) and probably could've made something up and sued if I really wanted to, but didn't. I'm not a cheater or a liar. I was just glad that her insurance company paid to get my car fixed (which was 2 months old at the time....cars shouldn't be at a body shop before their first oil change) and provided a rental.
     
  18. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #18
    Well I crashed first and then there was a following crash behind me. So she's suing both of us. We each took %50 blame on the accident according to the report.


    agreed, suing for pointless reasons wastes time and money. Everyone is just looking for some money.
     
  19. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #19
    A point that hasn't been made. I don't think you'll have a problem with it, but just so you're aware (and I'm sure your counsel has/will advise you of this): a deposition is sworn testimony, just taken outside the court. You will be under oath. If you don't recall , you don't recall, but do not "shade" any answer to fill in the gaps.

    Just like Joe Friday, said, "Just the facts, ma'am." You'll do fine.

    Any statutes of limitations issues are effectively moot. Apparently the suit was brought relatively soon after the accident, the time it takes to process that after filing is immaterial.

    "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" (CIA Motto)
     
  20. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #20
    So if he really doesn't recall, couldn't he just use a tape recording of Gonzo's senate testimony and not have to actually show up? :D
     
  21. chipchen macrumors 6502

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    Oct 30, 2002
    #21
    It's all about the lawyer...

    I was scheduled for a deposition... actually earlier this month. (not for car accident, corporate stuff) I had a REALLY GOOD lawyer... $500/hr good. And good thing my previous employer was paying the bills.

    Basically, he prepped me really well, told me exactly what I needed to expect, and told me he wouldn't tell me certain things, so that I had deniability during the deposition. (like he didn't tell me certain details, so that when they asked if I knew about this and this I could actually say no)

    The other lawyer's job is to make you look / sound guilty. Don't let that get to you. Anytime you get to ask the questions you can ask them in a way that sounds guilty. Just stay calm, don't blow up or make a scene. It's not personal (although, it is).

    Also, make sure your lawyer has EVERY detail. That means anything... give them all the info you have. Even if it was that there was a french fry on the floor or something. A good lawyer can prep you for any situation.

    Long story short... my lawyer arranged my deposition to be delayed twice, and then basically let the opposition think my testimony wasn't worth their time (would hurt them too much)... so they settled before I was deposed.

    I wasn't ever in legal trouble or anyting, but I think it's awesome my lawyer did the best thing he could do, kept me from having to do ANYTHING.

    (it was also nice that it was free)

    And the great thing was... I had almost NOTHING. I mean.. I had a few things, but not even any evidence of wrong doing. I laughed for days.
     
  22. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #22
    So, how did it go?
     
  23. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #23
    It was postponed, until today, just reading over the thread again.

    Thanks again guys, I'll report back, I hate waking up early. :(

    UPDATE:
    Just got back from it, I guess it wasn't too bad. Just annoying. I got to go first and leave which was cool, but I also wanted to stay and hear what the others had to stay, but then again, not really. I just hope it settles so I don't have to deal with this crap.
     
  24. MikeyTree macrumors 6502

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    Jan 5, 2007
    #24
    Well over 90% of all lawsuits settle, so yours probably will too. The point of the deposition etc. is essentially for each side to get an idea of how good their case is, so they can decide whether to settle and for how much.

    The statute of limitations is only a time limit on how late you can file a lawsuit, not on when it has to be finished by. As long as the plaintiff begins the law suit within 2 years of the accident (typically, for this sort of case), they're fine.
     
  25. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #25
    Man it is annoying when people sue over stupid crap. Back when I was 18 I back out of my drive way right in front of me and I was hit. Completely my fault but that beside the point. I going to guess they where doing some where around 15 mph.
    The car damage where 13k which I would expect considering but what tick me off was this lady sued me for injuries, pain and suffering and for a very high amount. Claimed I went flying out of the drive way and she was at a complete stop which was false considering my car moved horizontally and the damage to her car could front to back and I came at 90 degrees of that so their was a lot of proof that she was not telling the entire truth and I have a feeling the insurance lawyer got her on that one. Now here is the kicker her agent happen to be the exact same agent as mine so basically she was sueing her own agent. What makes it even worse was her son was one of the worse drivers at my high school and I learn shortly after that they where dropped because the agent was not willing to go to bat for her and protect her.

    Now a friend was involved in a wreck and the person who he hit sued his parents for negligences in letting him drive. Considering the fact that he was 20, been driving since he was 16, did not have any moving volatilizations on his recorded and this was his first wreck I just do not see the case. From what I heard the insurance company ate that person alive.
     

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