A deposition takes place any time an individual answers questions while under oath that are posed by a lawyer. It normally takes place outside of a courtroom and generally in a court reporter’s or attorney’s office. Examination before Trial, or EBT, is another name for a deposition and it allows the attorney for the opposing side to gather testimony that assists them in preparing for a case. Testimony that is taken at this time can be used when a case goes to trial. In civil cases that involve negligence or malpractice, a deposition normally takes place during the Discovery phase. This phase follows a suit being filed and initial papers having been exchanged. When attorneys for both sides begin to exchange requested information, this is referred to as “Discovery”. The lawyers from the personal injury law firm that you choose to represent you will help prepare you for the Discovery phase and will be present with you while the interview is taking place.
In regards to a deposition, both the defendant and the plaintiff have the legal right to depose during Discovery. When a defendant is a business entity, the plaintiff’s attorney can depose any employees that may have knowledge of the claim. If medical injuries are involved, then the attorney for the defense has the right to have a physician of their choice conduct a medical examination on the plaintiff. This is referred to as the Defendant’s Medical Examination or DME. Depending on the nature of the injuries, a lawyer from your personal injury law firm may or may not accompany you to the exam.
Here are some samples of questions that can be asked in a deposition:
Defense attorneys are widely known to try to trip a plaintiff up during the Discovery phase of a deposition, and may ask misleading questions where you answer can easily be misconstrued or taken out of context. This is why it is critical to work with a personal injury law firm that has experience litigating your type of case. Most work on contingency fees and provide a free initial consultation.
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