Be the Best Deposition Witness in an Alaska Personal Injury Case


As the plaintiff in an Alaska personal injury case, you can expect that you will be required to give a deposition for the opposing side at some point during the legal process. A deposition is a formal question and answer session that takes place before your trial, at which you will be interviewed by another attorney under oath. The proceedings are part of the discovery process under Alaska’s Rules of Civil Procedure, which the parties engage in to identify areas of dispute and narrow the legal concepts that will be at issue during the trial.

You can trust your Alaska personal injury attorney to explain the details of how depositions work and prepare you to be deposed. However, your role is just as important, so the following tips on being an effective witness should be helpful.

  • Listen Before Answering: It is important to hear the entire question being posed to you, and then process it in your mind before you provide an answer. Think about what the lawyer is asking you, but request clarification if you do not fully comprehend the inquiry. If you do provide a response, the presumption is that you understand it.
  • Only Answer Questions That are Asked: You should not volunteer any information that is not in direct response to what is being asked. The opposing counsel is seeking necessary details, but that does not mean you need to help do his or her job. Say “yes” or “no” to closed-ended questions and be brief when answering others.
  • Never Guess or Speculate: Unlike when you were in school, saying “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer if the information is not within your knowledge. Remember that you are giving the deposition under oath, so you should only state what you know to be true.
  • Do Not Answer Compound Questions: When opposing counsel joins two or more questions into one inquiry, your attorney has grounds to object. As such, you should hesitate before answering to allow time for the objection. You could also ask for clarification so the deposing lawyer can separate out the compound question.
  • Always Review a Document Before Responding: At times, you may be asked questions about a document that pertains to your personal injury case. Do not provide a response until you have had a chance to see the paperwork and assess its contents.
  • Tell the truth. Always be honest in your answers to deposition questions, as you could cause significant harm to your claim – and rights – by not being truthful. You may even suffer criminal consequences for misrepresentation or perjury for making false statements under oath.


Trust Your Alaska Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

These tips may be useful in telling you what to expect, but you should never try to go it alone when you have received a notice to appear for a deposition. Our team at Power & Power Law will represent you in connection with all proceedings in a personal injury case, so please contact our Anchorage, Alaska to speak with an experienced attorney. We can set up a free consultation to tell you more about our legal services.