Handy Tips while taking Depositions in Medical Malpractice/Personal Injury Cases

Draft n Craft - DepositionsDepositions are time-consuming but play a key role in the outcome of a lawsuit. Being straightaway prepared can help you achieve your desired results. Know why you want to take a deposition and what do you intend to achieve from it. You may want to establish the witness’ lack of expertise, have the witness commit to a specific opinion, establish inconsistencies in statements given by the witness or anything else. Be clear and prepare. Assumptions and anticipations should be kept out of the way. Nothing will go the way you want it to go, unless you work towards it.

Below are a few handy tips to keep in mind while taking a deposition in a medical malpractice case.

  1. elatedly Being Prepared – Knowing your case well is crucial. Be clear on the case facts, liability and the damages you are seeking. Review each and every medical record, answers to interrogatories, responses to Demands for Production, your case file etc. thoroughly. Keep a medical summary or a chronology alongside to give you a quick overview. The smallest to the biggest point is important. Make sure you know and have it all with you.
  2. http://celticgreenenergy.co.uk/33-things-homeowners-dont-know-about-solar Learn – Understand medicine, learn anatomy. – If the deposition is to be used at trial, your goal is to translate your understanding of the medicine to the jury by simplifying the medicine.
  3. purchase Lyrica from canada Break the monotony – Almost every deposition begins in the same old fashioned standard way of the witness providing answers to basic questions about name, address, education etc. Break the monotony, bring a change. It is likely to catch the witness off guard as most witnesses have a preset notion and are prepared in that manner.
  4. Open ended Questions – Ask leading and open-ended questions and follow the leads provided by the witness just to see where the search ends. These can be in a series of short, simple questions that require the witness to give direct, simple answers. Use a lot of what, who, when, why, where, how etc. The answers of the deponent should lead to the point that needs to be proved. The motto is to take out as much relevant information you can and not let the deponent drift off from the main points.
  5. Take opinions – While deposing the defendant doctor, who messed it all up for your client, ask questions where he can provide you with his medical opinions. This is critical and must not be ignored. Ask if they disagree or agree with the existing school of thought. Take their opinion on whether the appropriate standard of care was rendered to the plaintiff.
  6. Check Credentials – Do your research and also ask. It is always recommended that you do a little background search on the expert witness you are deposing. This can come in handy if you bump upon something off the track. Include a simple Google search, check for any state medical board or licensing actions taken against the doctor, previous malpractice cases, etc.
  7. Illegible Notes – Have the illegible medical notes translated. During deposition, have the deposing doctor read out the notes, this can help in bringing out relevant facts missed previously. The deposing doctor knows best what has been scribbled in the illegible notes.
  8. Be Polite – Being overpowering, rude or sarcastic can make the witness uneasy. Being polite, calm and composed helps the witness be at ease and answer questions properly while providing complete information. Remember, a nervous witness is likely to forget crucial information. Make your point as a professional and knowledgeable person.

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