Getting compensated for an injury that was not your fault can be a long process, but the good news is that one particular event in that process could trigger an opportunity to shorten that time considerably. Once you and your personal injury attorney have filed suit against the at-fault driver, the pretrial preparations begin. This part of the process, also referred to as the discovery phase, includes the deposition, where all concerned parties come together to gather information to help prepare for your "day in court". The importance of the deposition cannot be underestimated, so read on to learn more about what to expect and how it could turn out to be more successful than you may have imagined.

Preparing for the deposition

1. Since a deposition consists mainly of testimony of the participants (called deponents), you can help your case a great deal by reviewing your accident-related documents before the event. You should have quite a volume of information by now, including the accident report, your medical records, and more. Look over what you have to refresh your memory of the day of the accident, the medical treatments and how the accident has affected your life. If you have been keeping a notebook of events since the accident, you can now put that information to good use.

2. Your attorney can help ease your stress about the deposition by going over the procedures and what is expected of you during this process, which sometimes takes several days to complete. You may even be offered the opportunity to practice answering some questions with a member of your legal team.

3. You want to avoid the possibility of your attorney being blind-sided by the other side at the deposition by being completely forthright and honest with them about any issues in your history that may arise during the deposition or at trial. Any criminal or financial information should be provided well ahead of this event to allow your attorney to prepare a strategy for dealing with what could turn out to be a negative impact on your case.

During the Deposition

1. This meeting is structured very much like a trial, with attorneys for both sides questioning the participants and the entire procedure being recorded by a court reporter and sometimes by video camera as well. No judge is present, however, so the attorneys are basically in charge of the proceedings. If an attorney raises an objection to a question, the objection is merely noted in the record and the proceedings move along.

2. While a deposition is not as formal as a court proceeding, it can still be a little intimidating. You, and all others being questioned will be sworn in, so complete honestly is mandatory by all parties. It's important to note that everything said at the deposition is very likely admissible in court.

3. If your deposition is successful, this legal event could result in the offer by the other side of a settlement outside of court. The reasoning for this move is simple; trials cost both sides money and can be very time-consuming. Once the other side views the compelling evidence and testimony that they could face if the case should go to trial, they may be prompted to make an offer to settle. Your personal injury attorney will know how much you are entitled to receive, and can negotiate with the other side until you are both satisfied with the compensation package. Consult with your attorney for more information about personal injury depositions or visit