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The deposition is a very important part of a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice by a healthcare provider. It is a way for the person you are suing to find out what you know, so that they can use this information when preparing for trial. Similarly, your lawyer can depose the defendant.
The deposition is held after a lawsuit is filed, but before it goes to trial. It is often held in the office of the attorney conducting the deposition.
Make Sure You Have a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice is professional negligence, by act or failure to act, by a healthcare provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and, as a result, causes injury or death to the patient. Most cases involve medical error.
Know the Purpose of a Deposition
A deposition is a person’s testimony under oath before trial. The purpose of a deposition is to allow your opponent’s lawyer to find out how you will testify at trial, to establish the facts and circumstances of the case, and to preserve both parties’ memories of events before too much time has passed.
In addition, opposing counsel will want to see you in person, to size up how you might be viewed by a jury, to see if any injuries of the alleged malpractice might be visible and to judge your overall credibility.
Know What Happens at a Deposition
There will be a number of people present at your deposition: you, your attorney, the attorney for the defendant, the attorneys for any other defendants in the case, a court reporter and, sometimes, the defendant. If necessary, a translator can be present.
The court reporter will put you under oath that the testimony you are providing is true and honest. It is essential to answer all questions truthfully, since any discrepancies between what you say in a deposition and what you say in a courtroom will be used to undermine your credibility.
Your opponent’s lawyer will ask you a series of questions and you will reply. Ideally, your own attorney will have prepared you for these questions. For the record, the court reporter will write down everything that is said. The session might also be videotaped. After the deposition, you can review the transcript and add any clarifications (although you cannot change the transcript).
Call a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The issues surrounding a deposition in a medical malpractice case can be complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a medical malpractice lawyer.