The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the Michigan legal system. For this reason, more work is being done remotely, which may mean you need to give a deposition virtually in your personal injury claim.
Although attending a virtual deposition may be intimidating, with the right preparation, you can feel confident as you meet court officials remotely. Here’s more about what you can expect in your virtual deposition and how to present the strongest case possible.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is testimony given by a witness that is sworn but given outside of a courtroom. Generally, depositions involve an attorney asking the witness several questions to help support or refute their case. Witnesses are required to answer these questions, and the answers are transcribed and entered into evidence.
Both the plaintiff and the defense will access depositions during the discovery phase of your injury lawsuit. Although depositions may be occurring remotely, the same standards apply as if they were in-person.
What to Expect When Giving a Virtual Deposition
When giving a virtual deposition, there are a number of places you may be able to participate. Some may give their deposition from the comfort of their home, while others may attend depositions from a conference room. If you are going to be giving a virtual deposition, you will need access to the Internet, a computer, a smartphone, or another type of electronic device that has a microphone and working camera.
Generally, you can expect to receive instructions on how to get yourself set up for your virtual deposition. This might include downloading any necessary software you may need, the hyperlink to access the virtual meeting room and any passwords.
Virtual depositions work the same way in-person depositions do, in that you can expect the attorney to go over the details of the case with you ask you questions, and you will be expected to answer these questions truthfully and professionally.
What Makes a Strong Deposition?
If you are hoping to give the strongest deposition possible virtually, use the highest-quality camera you have access to, set up the position of your camera for the best angle so you can make eye contact with participants, and make sure the room you are in is well lit so participants can see you easily. Speak clearly and mute yourself when you are not speaking to eliminate background noise.
Tips for Virtual Depositions
When you are preparing for a virtual deposition, there are several tips and tricks to help you get ready for what’s to come. These include:
- Familiarize yourself with the software used for your deposition, such as Zoom
- Do not use a virtual background, as these may be considered informal
- Submit any court documents to attorneys in advance of the virtual deposition
- Make sure your electronic device’s microphone and camera are in working order
- Be sure to dress appropriately for your virtual deposition — professionally and conservatively, the same as you would if you were attending court in person
- Practice giving clear answers
- Prepare a backup electronic device in case your preferred device fails you
If you have questions or concerns regarding your virtual deposition or what to expect from the deposition process, be sure to discuss your concerns with your injury attorney.
What’s Next After Your Virtual Deposition?
After your virtual deposition has been taken, it will be entered into evidence. From there, the jury or judge will review the evidence in detail to determine whether the defendant in the case should be found liable for the victim’s injuries. Your virtual deposition could prove to be invaluable evidence used to support the injury victim’s right to financial compensation.
Contact a Michigan Injury Attorney for Help
If you have additional questions or concerns about giving your deposition virtually, be sure to reach out to an experienced Michigan injury lawyer at Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC, for legal guidance and support.
Our firm is proud to offer no-cost, risk-free consultations to injury victims across the state of Michigan. Take advantage of this opportunity by completing our online contact form or giving our office a call at 313-462-7979.