Depositions In Florida Medical Malpractice Cases: What To Expect
Discovery is a key component to medical malpractice claims in Florida, especially depositions of parties, witnesses, and experts. Therefore, there is a good chance that you will be called as a deponent at some point during the legal proceedings. The details are covered in Florida rules covering oral depositions, which basically cover giving notice, issuing subpoenas to non-parties, how to handle video and telephone depositions, and many other factors. Essentially, a deposition is an interview during which an attorney involved in the case asks questions to get facts necessary to support or contest allegations at issue in the case.
While the statute does not provide details on what to expect, your Tampa personal injury lawyer will take time to prepare you and describe the proceedings. It is also useful to check out an overview of how depositions work in Florida medical malpractice cases.
Who Will Be in Attendance
Besides you, the deponent, and your attorney, there will be one or more additional individuals present during the deposition. The lawyer who requested your deposition will generally take the lead with the proceeding, and this may be:
- Someone representing the doctor that you alleged committed malpractice; OR,
- The insurance company that provides medical malpractice coverage for the physician.
In addition, there will be a court reporter who records the deposition via audio and stenograph. When the attorney handling the deposition makes the request, the proceedings may also be video recorded.
Understanding the Implications of Your Testimony
Another important job of the court reporter is swearing you in for the deposition, because you will be giving testimony under oath. Even though you are not in a courtroom, you must affirm that your answers and statements are true and correct. There can be serious consequences for false testimony.
How Questioning Works
As mentioned, a deposition is an interview in which the attorney asking the questions is seeking facts. The session will start with getting some basic information about you and your family, and will then proceed into details about your claims of medical malpractice. Your lawyer knows what questions will come up and will prepare you, but keep in mind:
- You are only expected to provide information within your knowledge, so you will not be asked highly technical questions about medical topics.
- If a question is confusing, request clarification rather than trying to answer what you think is being asked.
- Never speculate or guess when providing answers.
- Do not provide more information than what the question asks.
- Remember that you are under oath. You could face penalties for perjury and severely damage your case by making misrepresentations.
Your Tampa, FL Medical Malpractice Attorney Will Guide You Through Depositions
This summary of what to expect with a deposition is useful, but our team at Greco & Wozniak P.A. will be at your side to address the details as they arise. For more information about discovery and the legal for a medical malpractice case, please contact our firm at 813.223.7849 or via our website. We can schedule a no-cost case review at our offices in Tampa, FL.