Depsition and court

Nurses General Nursing


  • by CEN35
    Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.
  1. Have you been to a deposition and/or court?

    • 17
    • 38

55 members have participated

has anybody had to go to a deposition and/or court before? i am going in about 15 first and i am sick to my stomach :o let me know why you went and what happened? or what you thought? :eek:

thanks......... me :)


244 Posts

I had to attend my first depostion just a few weeks ago. It was from an accident that I responded to as an EMT about 5 years ago. I just used my notes. Since you may not remeber the exacts of the case, the only real way to do it is to refer to your documentation. This is why documentation is so important.

If this a suit against you, good luck. If it is a suit aganst someone else, like an insurance company or something, don't worry, you only need to tell the truth as stated in your documentation. Answer yes and no as much as possible, don't speculate. Don't worry, it's not that bad.


518 Posts

I had to go to court for a rape where I was the primary nurse. The case was postponed several times and I kept having to go back. The ADA gave me a copy of the chart so I reviewed it every time. It ended up I didn't need to testify because he pled quilty. I was also very nervous but I was told just to answer yes or no and not to go into any detail unless asked specifically to do so. I'm glad I never had to get up on the stand.

Let us know how things went.

ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

Back when I was an EMT, I got a call informing me that I was going to have to give a deposition. It was over a run we had where a kid ran his car off the road into a house, and a couple cars in the driveway. He had *maybe* a sprained wrist. He was trying to sue the county for having bad nothing ever came of it and I never had to give the deposition :rolleyes:

But I was *very* nervous about it since I had been the EMT in the back of the ambulance with him. Like some others have said, I was told to give yes or no answers and not to give any details unless specifically asked.

Good luck!

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

When I did Infection Control, I had to give a deposition regarding a case of a man who got pneumonia post-op. It took about 2 hours. Not my fondest memory. But, I had done my homework with his chart, Micro records, my own surveillance records, etc. I had discussed it w/ the risk management administrator, and the lawyer for the hospital. The risk manager went w/me, which helped me look calmer than I felt!

The thing about a deposition is that the hospital's lawyer is right next to you; pause a few seconds before you answer so that s/he can object if necessary, and if you're not sure about any question or answer, ask for a conference before you answer.

Mine came out great--other people had been subpeona'd, but never had to deposition, and the suit was dropped. They kept telling me (in conference) that I was doing great, but it was VERY SCARY, and I'm sure it knocked 10 years off my life.



1,091 Posts

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

13 votes........and 66 views????? doesn't quite add up???? :o anywyas, it went well...........i was in and out quickly.............less than 10 minutes :D

plumrn, BSN, RN

424 Posts

I had to give a deposition once.I was never so nervous in my life.Several of the nurses where I work had to go also.They lasted about 2 hrs each.The case was eventually dropped,(there was really never a case). But the entire 2 YEARS!! that this hung over our heads was really just awful.Never knew when you might get another letter.I hope to never go through that again.


564 Posts

I've had to give 2 depositions, in 18 years. Glad to hear that yours went well. My first was to an investigator from another county (impartial) because I had had the secretary of County Prosecutor in the ER on New Year's Eve, drunk as cooter Brown, ranting and raving, refusing blood alcohol, wanting to call her boss, etc. She had driven her car into a line of 9 new cars at a dealership, damaging all of them. She was ambulatory at the scene. We finally admitted her when her KUB showed a perforated bladder. Anyway-I had written "strong odor of ETOH" on her chart, in addition to documenting her behaviors. The person deposing me wanted to know just what that ment, when ETOH was actually odorless. I told her that it was a medically recognized term that indicated the odor of metabolizing alcohol in a person's body, and on their breath. She asked me what that was like. I told her it was like leaving a little bit of beer in a closed hot car for a while, and then opening the door. Her eyes widened with recognition, and she nodded her understanding. I later found out the woman had lost her license for a year for refusing the blood test, and was placed on 6 mos. community service. She pleaded no contest, beacusing of my charting and deposition! ;)

nightingale, RN

2,404 Posts

I am glad you are back.. to normal.... I hope this thread helped in reinforcing you to know that we are such a wonderful sapport!

I wonder why there were only 21 votes and 66 view too! hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....


302 Posts

I'm just guessing that the reason that there were so many views and not many votes because there were a lot of people like me who have never had to go to a deposition or court before. I didn't vote, because I felt like a "no" vote wasn't really helpful. But I was very curious! Now I know what to do if this ever happens to me.:eek:


58 Posts

I don't know how the other places are where you all live, but in TX they have a mock trial for us to go in and watch a nurse "put" on trial and see how the laywers are,depositions,good documentation vs. bad etc.

It might be something good to see in case that dreaded day ever comes..You can also get your CE hrs this way


566 Posts

Specializes in ER, Hospice, CCU, PCU.

No matter how good your documentation is prior to your first deposition, it will become much, much, much better after that!;)

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