Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Deposition
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on December 11, 2018
When a doctor or surgeon makes a mistake, it’s important that they be held accountable for their negligence. Medical malpractice lawsuits seek damages for patients and loved ones after costly errors, covering the need for additional medical treatment and even the loss of life. The Salt Lake City, UT attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane have years of experience helping patients and their families seek justice from doctors, surgeons, hospitals, and pharmacies that have acted negligently.
Before your case goes to trial, a process of discovery must occur to help gather witness testimony and assemble evidence. Depositions are an important part of this phase of a legal case. Let’s consider the basics of depositions and how they apply to medical malpractice lawsuits.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is the act of taking sworn, out-of-court witness testimony regarding an incident that occurred. The witness’ out of court testimony may be turned into a written transcript that can be used later in court.
The lawyers themselves will take depositions rather than court employees or a judge. The location of these attorney/witness meetings can vary. Sometimes they occur in a conference room at a law office, other times a more neutral location is selected.
Why Depositions Are Crucial for Medical Malpractice Cases
Depositions are an essential component of trial preparation, giving each lawyer a chance to gather information and build their case. Depositions can also help push the need for an out-of-court settlement, which avoids the lengthy and expensive process of going to trial.
Consistency in Depositions and Trials
One of the most important aspects of depositions is that they help ensure that the facts in a medical malpractice case remain consistent. If a doctor or witness attempts to change their testimony during trial, the deposition transcript can be brought up to note a change in facts. This keeps witnesses honest and protects the objectivity of the case and the nature of the legal system.
Depositions Can Help Measure the Strength of a Case
While taking this sworn testimony, an attorney is essentially accomplishing multiple tasks at once. In addition to gathering crucial facts, the attorney is locking down a witness’ testimony in the event that a case goes all the way to trial. The attorney is also gauging the reliability and strength of a witness’ testimony, considering how persuasive it might be to a jury and how it impacts the rest of the evidence that is available.
Will My Medical Malpractice Case Go to Trial?
It might not. The vast majority of medical malpractice cases are settled out of court in order to avoid going to trial. This is generally to the benefit of plaintiffs and defendants. Depositions can be an important part of reaching a settlement.
How Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help
Working with experienced lawyers means having skilled people engaging with the legal process each day understanding how to make the system work for their clients in an ethical way. Our law firm is well-versed in the deposition process, and we understand what to ask witnesses about your case. We will keep you updated about the progress of your case every step of the way, and help you understand the most beneficial decisions that can be made.
Learn More About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
For more information about your legal rights and options following a harmful medical mistake, be sure to contact our team of medical malpractice lawyers. The attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane are here to help. You can reach our law office by phone at (801) 335-7025.
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They were extremely knowledgeable, extremely helpful experts. The team helped me with all aspects of my case, including medical and financial, and understood that it affected more than me but also my family.- Jill S.