In today’s Maryland medical malpractice educational article, we tackle some of the issues present in depositions. The focus surrounds 3 tips for answering deposition questions. If you are involved in a medical malpractice/personal injury lawsuit, there is a good chance that you will be deposed. The thought of having to testify at a deposition can be scary and confusing for some.
Remember, if you have a deposition scheduled, that you speak with your attorney regarding the specific questions surrounding your case. This article is intended to give general tips regarding depositions in the state of Maryland.
NERVOUS ABOUT YOUR DEPOSITION (WHAT IS A DEPOSITION?)?
What is a deposition, and are you nervous about attending? Well, a deposition is essentially a question and answer session. They are useful in getting information regarding the critical issues present in the case. Attorneys use depositions to narrow the issues for trial and to support their theory/theories of the case. In some situations, deposition testimony might be used at a future trial or hearing.
With the above stated, once inside the deposition, there will be other individuals in attendance. If you have an attorney, your attorney will be in the deposition with you. In addition, there will be a court reporter present taking down the information said in the deposition. Your deposition might also have a videographer in attendance. This person’s job is to record through camera/video the deponent’s deposition. The defendant may or may not be in attendance. However, their attorney will attend regardless of whether the defendant attends.
3 TIPS FOR ANSWERING DEPOSITION QUESTIONS
Below are 3 tips for answering deposition questions. These tips may seem simple; however, people sometimes forget them during the “heat of the deposition.” The first tip is to listen to the entire question and only answer the question asked. Sometimes, we tend to try and anticipate a question and answer that question before hearing the question asked. This is a big no for depositions because what if you anticipate wrong and answer a question not asked? This can cause problems for your deposition in some cases (remember the court reporter is taking down everything that is being said).
The second tip is to tell the truth. Simple enough right? Well, when attorneys are asking questions, sometimes people can get tangled up in their answers and then start to make up answers. You do not want to do this with your deposition. If you keep tip number one in mind, it becomes easier to not allow the attorney to mix your words up and use them against you. Tip number 3 is useful if you have a hard time understanding the question asked.
Third, if you do not understand a question, ask the attorney to rephrase the question. One way to think of this question is “to thine own self be true.” Do not think less of yourself if you can’t understand what the question is asking. Answering a question that you do not understand can put you down the path regarding tip number two. You can always tell the attorney asking the question that you do not understand the question as phrased and can he or she explain the question? Answering a question that you do not understand can lead to disastrous consequences in some instances.
So to recap these 3 tips for answering deposition questions:
- Listen to the entire question and only answer the question asked…
- Tell the truth…
- If you do not understand a question, ask the attorney to rephrase the question…
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP