Chattanooga Personal Injury Attorneys

13 Do’s And Don’ts For Witnesses In Deposition

13 Do’s And Don’ts For Witnesses In Deposition

Each and every witness in deposition need to understand the do’s and don’ts of the deposition process

  1. TELL THE TRUTH. Besides the fact that a witness is legally required to tell the truth, the truth is always the easiest to remember. The truth makes you or your witnesses’ testimony consistent with the story that you, the client, is telling the jury.
  2. LISTEN TO THE QUESTION. This is actually harder than it seems, particularly when you or your witness is nervous. But you or your witness must be sure what the question is before answering. If the witness doesn’t understand the question, he should tell the defense lawyer that he didn’t understand the question and please ask it in a different way. A witness should never try to figure out what the question should be. If you or your witness is incorrect about where the question is going, you or your witness may be answering the wrong question and giving the wrong answer.
  3. PAUSE TO CONSIDER THE QUESTION BEFORE RESPONDING. Your witness should always pause and think about the question before responding. You or your witness should ask themselves, “Now, what is the defense lawyer asking me?” A pause also gives your lawyer time to object if it is an improper question.
  4. YOU OR YOUR WITNESS SHOULD MAKE SURE SHE AGREES WITH EVERY STATEMENT IN THE QUESTION, AND EVERY CHARACTERIZATION OF THE FACTS. You or your witness should understand it is an old defense trick to get a witness to go along with answering a question loaded with inaccurate characterizations or summaries of the evidence. We tell our personal injury witnesses and clients to make sure they agree with every part of the question before answering. Once a witness answers an inaccurate question, those inaccuracies become part of the witness’s statement.
  5. NEVER GUESS. Every personal injury witness should know it is alright to say: “I don’t know”, or “I don’t recall at the moment”. A personal injury witness doesn’t have to know the answer to every question—indeed, probably can’t know the answer to every question.
  6. ANSWER ONLY THE QUESTION ASKED. The pressure of a deposition may make the personal injury witness feel like he has to explain his answer with unasked for information. You or the witness should not anticipate what might be, to him, the logical next question. Even if the question makes you or your witness think of a half dozen facts and it’s natural to want to blurt out these unasked-for facts—don’t. Otherwise, you (if you’re the witness) or your witness may blurt out something unasked for and harmful to the personal injury case. Answer only the question asked.
  7. REVIEW EXHIBITS COMPLETELY. We always review any and all exhibits we think the defense lawyer will present to our witness or client before he gives a deposition. We don’t want anything to surprise you or your witness. So, we prepare you and your witness to fully discuss any photograph, document or another item the defense will present to him.
  8. AVOID OFF THE RECORD CONVERSATIONS. Your personal injury witness is there for only one reason: to answer the defendant’s question. We warn our personal injury witnesses to guard against the defense lawyer drawing her into an argument or even just a casual conversation. Even the most casual conversation off the record can be used by the defendant’s attorney which may be useful at the deposition or trial.
  9. YOU AND/OR YOUR WITNESS ARE ALWAYS IN CONTROL OF THE DEPOSITION. You, if you’re the witness and your fact witness can control the pace of the deposition, request the defense attorney clarify his questions, ask for a break, and demand that he base his questions on the facts, accurately. You, if your witness or your witness can take a rest break anytime and confer with your lawyer.
  10. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR LAWYER’S OBJECTIONS. You or your witness can learn by paying attention to your attorney during the deposition. Do not answer if your lawyer tells you not to answer.
  11. DO NOT TRY TO WIN THE CASE. Even the most important witness cannot win the case alone. Some witnesses feel that if they talk a lot and make speeches, they can help. You should stick only to answering the question and let your lawyer worry about winning the case.
  12. YOUR WITNESS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR LAWYER CAN NOT INSTRUCT THEM NOT TO ANSWER A QUESTION. If you, the personal injury claimant the witness, your lawyer can instruct you not to answer the question. This is not the case with your witness because the witness has no attorney-client relationship with the fact witness.
  13. AVOID EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS AND/OR AN ANGRY DEMEANOR. One thing the defendant’s attorney will do during a deposition is size up you or your witness. The defendant’s attorney wants to see what you or your witness will be like in front of a jury. If the defense attorney finds it easy to make the witness angry, this will be important information. Juries don’t like angry witnesses.

Whether you think your Tennessee or Georgia personal injury case will settle or you need to go to trial, Dennis and King’s award-winning trial attorneys are ready to help you. Our initial consultations are always free and we will tell you if we think we can settle your case or if you need to take your case to trial. We’ve advised thousands of happy clients on whether to take an insurance settlement offer or go to trial, so put our experience to work for you. You can reach us at (423) 892-5533 or fill out one of chat forms. We can help, even if you don’t hire us.

By |2022-08-11T16:27:50-04:00August 11th, 2022|General Info|0 Comments
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Personal injury 

In almost all personal injury claims, insurance companies will offer you significantly less than what you deserve. It’s tempting to accept the first offer, especially if you are in a great deal of pain and unable to return to work. But if you’ve already taken a devalued settlement from the insurance company and your medical bills start to pile up, there’s little legal recourse to ask for more. That’s why it’s crucial to involve a Chattanooga personal injury lawyer before you even file a claim.

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Car Accidents

Chattanooga car accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King have recovered millions of dollars in Georgia and Tennessee for car and motor vehicle accident victims like you.  If you or a loved one has been injured and need help with your medical bills, then you have come to the right place.   Auto accident victims and their family members in East Tennessee and North Georgia can confidently rely on the experienced auto accident attorneys at Dennis and King. We are the law firm that has compassionately, yet effectively, helped victims and their loved ones navigate the aftermath of difficult situations.

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Trucking Accidents

Truck accidents in the United States are on the rise. Recent statistics show that almost 150,000 people are injured in truck accidents each year, and 6,000 people are killed. The regional area of Georgia and Tennessee is a crossroads and a center for car manufacturing, river traffic, and other industries. Large trucks, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles are constantly on the road. This has a downside as frequent truck accidents occur on I-75, I-24, I-59, Highway 153, U.S. 27, Amnicola Highway, Corridor J, and other roadways. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia or Tennessee truck accident, you may be eligible for substantial compensation.

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Motorcycle Accidents

Experienced Chattanooga motorcycle accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King are avid fans of motorcycles, but they also realize how serious motorcycle accidents can be. With over 75 years of combined experience, Dennis and King Injury Law knows the legal process to achieve fair compensation for motorcycle crash victims. Contact one of our lawyers today to learn more about how to start your motorcycle accident claim.

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ATV Accidents

Under both Tennessee and Georgia law, ATVs are not authorized for use on paved road, but children continue to bring ATVs on to our roads and highways. Georgia and Tennessee laws also prohibit the carrying of passengers on most ATVs, require children below the age of 16 to take approved ATV training courses, and require kids younger than 16 to wear helmets, eye protection, and over-the-ankle boots when operating ATVs. However, these requirements apply only when ATVs are operated on public lands, leaving kids essentially without protection when riding ATVs on private property.

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Bicycle Accidents

The most tragic type of bicycle crash is a bike-car collision. Cyclists are completely defenseless traveling on 30-pound bikes when they’re surrounded by 3,000-pound cars and trucks racing by them. Pedestrians, defective bike parts, recalled bike helmets, and other ineffective bicycle safety equipment can also cause bicycle accidents. Bike accidents can result in wrongful death or serious injuries such as broken bones, amputation, traumatic brain injury, neck, back, and spinal cord injuries.

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Boating Accidents

One of three factors usually cause boat accidents: an inexperienced boater, an intoxicated operator, or a boat malfunction. More than a third of both fatal and non-fatal boat accidents are alcohol-related. It is estimated that boat operators with a blood alcohol content of .10 or higher are 10 times more likely to be injured or killed in a boat accident than sober operators.

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Nursing Home Abuse

No one ever expects a family member or friend to be the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home. However, abuse and neglect do occur every day and in many ways.

Dennis and King are Chattanooga nursing home abuse attorneys who will fight to recover all that you and your loved one deserve. With our experience in nursing home negligence matters, we thoroughly and carefully assess each individual case. We prepare each case for either settlement or trial in order to obtain compensation for injury, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We help victims and their families hold these facilities accountable.

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Premises Liability

Premises liability is a vital facet of personal injury law, placing responsibility on property owners for maintaining a safe environment. When accidents occur due to negligence or hazardous conditions on someone’s property, victims have the right to seek compensation. This encompasses incidents like slip and falls or inadequate security leading to assaults. Dennis and King excel in handling these complex cases, tirelessly pursuing justice for our clients.

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Free Strategy Session

During your initial strategy session, we will assist you in creating a strategy in how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a car accident claim, 18 wheeler injury, or, other kind of personal injury claim.

There are 5 points to your free claim strategy session:

  • First, we will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
  • Based on the information you provide, we will give you our best advice on both what claims you have and the next steps you should consider to go forward with your claim.
  • If you claim is something that we think we can help you with, we will explain the services that we can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
  • If your matter is something that we do not think we can help you with, then we will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
  • Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unknowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed light on what you can expect and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.