One of the common tools that attorneys use to collect information during the litigation process is a deposition. A deposition is usually an opportunity for an opposing attorney to ask questions in-person (or in today’s world, over video conference) of a party or a witness, while they are under oath, with a court reporter taking down a record of everything that is said.
Attorneys take depositions all over the state and in different types of locations, such as a courthouse in Lea County, an attorney’s office in Socorro, a hotel in Luna County, a conference center in Silver City, or even a room at a public library in San Juan County.
Deposition Information Is Used by Attorneys at Trial
This information is then transcribed, and provided to an attorney for many uses, including at trial. Deposition testimony carries the same weight as a person who sits in the witness box at trial to provide testimony to a jury. In part, this is because not everyone can be available to appear in person for a trial.
Depositions Allow Terminally Ill Witnesses the Ability to Provide Testimony
Since litigation can be a lengthy process, it is possible that a witness could die, or decline significantly, before trial. This can also happen with parties, especially in cases involving medical malpractice. For example, in the case of a failure to diagnose a terminal illness, a person’s life is cut short. This person’s testimony (his or her thoughts, recollections and knowledge) needs to be preserved.
Under these and similar circumstances, a deposition to preserve you or your family member’s testimony can be done before suit is filed. However, there are still court rules that have to be followed, and notice that has to be given to potential defendants.
Our New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and you believe that it was a result of medical malpractice, it is important to contact an attorney immediately to arrange for a preservation deposition and ensure that you or your family member’s story is preserved for trial.