How to Ace Your Personal Injury Deposition

Are you afraid of public speaking? Do judges and courtrooms intimidate you unless you’re watching them on television? Great news! Perhaps your personal injury case will be settled, out of court, and you will not need to go through a deposition. This process only happens as a primary step to a case possibly going to trial.

Deposition is defined as oral response to questions. It is common that a personal injury lawyer Naperville IL trusts will also type up interrogatories, a long list of questions you have already supplied them with answers to. Just like actors need to stick with the script on a stage or screen, it is wise for you to review this material before you are interviewed by the opposing attorney. If you do not chose your words carefully, you could contradict yourself. In rare instances, you could be videotaped. Ask your attorney if this is likely. Either way, some find practicing in front of a mirror or having someone videotape some common questions can help you project confidence.

Here are some simple tips to breeze through a Personal Injury Deposition with minimal stress:

1. Remember this is not a conversation! It is a scripted interview where every word will be recorded by a court reporter. Never give them an essay, simply a short sentence that only covers specifically what was asked.

2. Take some breaths. After a question is asked, two things should occur. You should mentally replay every word of the question. If anything is confusing, ask for them to clarify.

For example, “Can you define what neuropathic pain means?” This is not the time to be guessing what a technical or medical term means. Second, before you speak, play in your mind the full thought before you speak it.

3. If they mention a specific accident, procedure, test or doctor visit ask if you can review documents they are referencing: A. police report B. medical record C. deposition already done on physician or accident witness. A personal injury lawyer will show you some documents that will be relevant in your specific case.

4. Don’t be tempted to “fill in the gaps.” It’s normal to not have exact recall of events that were traumatic or that happened long ago. It is better to say, “I do not recall that doctor visit,” than to keep going if you don’t have good recall of the visit in question. It’s alright to admit if you don’t remember something! If you make a mistake, simply say, “I misspoke, Can we go back to the last question, so I can clarify?”

5. Be alert to patterns in the questions. One tactic is for the opposing counsel to ask you a series of “easy” questions that all require “yes” responses. Then they could throw in a difficult question that you could blurt out “yes” to also, if not paying close attention

6. Just because they ask a “Yes,” or “No,” question you may respond with a short phrase instead of being pressured to respond with only “Yes” or “No.” Say your case involves a leg injury to your right leg from an accident. If you responded, “Not that I recall,” to the question, “Have you ever injured your right leg before?” instead of “No,” then if the other side finds medical records of a long-ago sport accident to that same leg that can be clarified. Once you say, “No,” the other side can try to suggest to the judge or jury you are not telling the truth or your recall is poor.

7. Every hour or so, request a break for water, snacks or the bathroom. Just like a coach carefully times when a team uses a “time-out,” you can plan these to occur when the process is the most stressful or confusing.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into personal injury deposition questions.

Court reporters: Typing Wizards or Technologically Savvy?

Court Reporting Company DC

A Washington DC court reporter can type at least 95% of all dialogue accurately. This is important when finances, child custody or legal penalties are at stake. It is crucial that Washington DC court reporters reflect exactly what has been said, so that justice proceeds smoothly. For this purpose, a Washington DC court reporter employs a special machine known as a stenotype. This is how court reporters can transcribe courtroom speech and deposition testimony so quickly.

A stenotype is a kind of word processor, but unlike your computer, it does not use a typical QWERTY keyboard. Instead, the court reporter uses a 22-key machine. How does the court reporter type without all 26 letters of the alphabet? Simply by responding to sounds instead of words: the left hand transcribes the initial consonant sounds of words, such as the “K” phoneme at the beginning of “courtroom”. The right hand types the final consonant phonemes, but since there is no “M” sound at the right hand side of the keyboard (or anywhere for that matter), the court reporter uses a combination of keys that will represent the “M” sound. Below these sets of keys are the numbers and then the vowels. Just four vowel keys can be combined to represent the myriad of vowel sounds in the English language. Think of all the ways we can pronounce the letter “O.” An experienced Washington DC court reporter relies on his or her ears when reporting, to highlight the unique sound of a word. This saves time and difficulty when guessing how to spell any unfamiliar terminology. While speech recognition technologies exist, they are yet to match the trained accuracy of a court reporter’s ear, and likely will not advance to that stage for many years to come.

At Capital Reporting Company, our highly trained court reporters work with stenotype technology to produce fast and accurate legal transcription in Washington DC. Court reporters, over the years, develop their own unique glossaries of sounds so that they may know, for instance, that “RORT,” typed on a stenotype, translates to “report.” Using their cultivated shorthand vocabularies, a court reporting professional can translate and review his/her transcriptions to give an accurate, documented account of a court proceeding or deposition. In this way, a court reporter can transcribe dictation at a pace of at least 225 words in a minute.

Founded by two attorneys and a seasoned court reporter, Capital Reporting Company combines the speed and accuracy of our stenographers with reliable courtroom technology. The National Law Journal/ Legal Times ranked Capital Reporting Company as 2013’s Best Overall Provider of Court Reporting Services. Our court reporting accuracy and reputation for excellence speak to the quality of service you can expect from us. We provide court reporting services not just in the Washington, DC metro area but throughout the United States, to ensure your legal matters are reported carefully and precisely. Contact Capital Reporting Company in Washington, DC at 800-655-3679 to learn more about our court reporting, legal transcription and other services.