In a medical malpractice case, there is a question and answer session held under oath before the trial. This session is called a deposition or an examination before trial, and everything is recorded by a court clerk. Whatever is said in the deposition can be taken as evidence during trial. When you give your testimony at this deposition, and you have said something in error, then you can correct it before your case goes to trial.
All the questions and answers that take place during deposition are recorded by the court stenographer, and will be put into a booklet format called the transcript. After the deposition is over, this transcript will be then sent to you by your lawyer. The transcript will have specific instructions, which asks you to read the contents, and if there are any typographical errors or if there are any mistakes that need to be corrected, it will be mentioned how you go about fixing them.
You will need to take separate paper, write down your corrected answer, and sign it. You will need to place this paper in the transcript booklet, sign the booklet, and send everything back to your attorney. This is how you correct a mistake, which you have made during your pretrial testimony.
Importance of Correcting Your Deposition Testimony
Thoroughly reading and correcting the transcript is quite important for you case. When your case reaches trial, the transcript will be used as evidence. When you have corrected your deposition testimony, no inconsistencies are likely with the testimony you are going to give during trial. Since the transcript is corrected, the defense attorney cannot use that to show to the jury that there is clear contradiction between the testimony you gave during deposition and the testimony you are giving now at the trial. The trial may take place even two years after the deposition, but you need to make sure that you are consistent in your testimonies.
Hence, it is important to read the transcript and correct your testimony wherever required. However, during the trial, the defense attorney can point out to the jury that you have made these changes to your testimony after you had a chance to review the transcript. Nevertheless, this is perfectly okay, and the jury is not going to think anything bad about your changing your deposition testimony.
Protecting Your Credibility
Your credibility is at stake when you have given contradictory statement or your testimonies differ, between the one you have given at deposition and the one you are giving at trial. The defense lawyer will also be quick to alert the jury about such discrepancies because he would have read the transcript and would be waiting for you to make such mistakes.
You could harm your medical malpractice case considerably, when your testimonies differ between what you said at the deposition and what you are saying at trial. Therefore, read the transcript thoroughly and make sure you correct whatever you feel is wrong in your testimony.
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