Being Deposed - Help! - page 2

Hello Nurse Beth, I once worked in a nursing home 3 years ago, where a dementia patient suffered a severe fall injury (fractured neck) in the bathroom, in spite of all fall precautions in place.... Read More

  1. by   beckysue920
    The law practice company who wants your deposition can send an attorney to where you live now, it's common practice; or as someone suggested,by Skype. I strongly agree that the 3 responses suggested may be your best answers.

    I would recommend, if it gets to that point, to demand to see the patient's records in order for you to review the incident. All incurred costs should be the responsibility of the firm deposing you. Getting your own attorney would be a good idea, however, I think it is a little soon at this point in time, IF you plan to use "yes, no, I don't recall". If not and you elaborate, get an attorney!

    Do you have your own liability policy? Do keep us posted and I'm hoping for the best.
  2. by   JayHanig
    Quote from hppygr8ful
    A wise man who was a physician as well as a lawyer once gave me the best advice. In deposition there are only three answers to any question: Yes, No and I don't recall. Never elaborate.

    So true. I've been deposed twice in my career and I think I make a pretty good witness for the facility. I stuck very closely to the script and was a man of few words (for once). Following this advice got me out the door both times in less than an hour. If you don't elaborate, you don't open new doors to go through and explore. So think about how you can keep your answers down to one word, if at all possible. Make the opposing attorney work for it.

    On the subject of personal liability, don't worry too much about it unless you have significant assets to protect. I didn't, so I never bothered to get professional liability insurance. It worked out great for me as the plaintives knew who had the deep pockets... and it wasn't me. I was actually asked at the first deposition if I had any professional insurance: "Not a dime", I said. I wish I'd had a camera to capture the look of disappointment on the lawyer's face. You can't get blood out of a stone.

    I have never paid a dime in legal fees or judgements. The facility employed you and they can't defend themselves without defending you at the same time. Trust them to do the heavy lifting.
  3. by   Kooky Korky
    [QUOTE=Nurse Beth;9531133]Hello Nurse Beth,
    I once worked in a nursing home 3 years ago, where a dementia patient suffered a severe fall injury (fractured neck) in the bathroom, in spite of all fall precautions in place. The injury was found non operable, given his cognition etc. 7 days later patient died. Now patient's family sued the facility but their lawyer served me a notice of deposition as a witness to the occurrence. I no longer work for the facility. I had relocated out to another state. They told me I was going to be a witness since I was nurse on duty and wrote the incident report. What do you think is best I do? Attend the deposition scheduled where I currently live? Request a copy of the incident report because I cannot remember the patient very well. If I witness for the patient, do you think the facility will come after me?

    Responses appreciated.


    First, who is "they"?

    If someone wants to depose you, they need to pay your way to travel to wherever they want you to be. Housing, rental car, time missed at work, lodging, etc.

    How can you testify about something you don't really recall?

    How did they locate you?

    I don't know if the facility will come after you. In what way might they do that?

    Were you actually a witness? Did you actually see what happened? How is it that all fall precautions were in place and the pt still fell? Did anyone respond to the alarm that I assume was going off? What was staffing like?

    Have you been subpoenaed by either side?
  4. by   getoverit
    I've been deposed once. Kid in a car wreck, ejected through the open side window. Agonal when we arrived and dead within a couple minutes from a terrible head injury. Don't assume that being deposed guarantees being named in a suit. One advice I haven't seen given here is to ABSOLUTELY get a copy of your incident report. That's the only thing you should refer to, if it isn't contained in the report then there's no way/reason to comment about it. Especially after 3 years.
    Minimalistic answers are usually the best idea. I did elaborate in my deposition, but only because the details were very ingrained in my mind. After I provided a brutal description of the child's head and the moments preceding his death the family elected to not pursue any further. I hope your case goes well.
  5. by   LadysSolo
    I too have never heard of a deposition being voluntary. I have had to provide a deposition, after review by both sides they decided t settle out of court. I, however, have always carried malpractice insurance - I do not wish to lose my house or have future wages garnished. And I always recommend it.
  6. by   gracie65
    Whatever advice you choose to follow, my only advice is document EVERYTHING! Makes copies of all correspondence, note any phone calls made regarding this, the time, date and who you talked to, copies of any email, text or other correspondence, etc. You wouldn't believe the cases won or lost just soley based on paperwork or the lack thereof....
  7. by   EdieBrous
    The fifth amendment does not apply to civil proceedings. It relates to potential CRIMINAL charges.