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Questions to Ask the Doctor at a Medical Malpractice Deposition

The deposition is a question and answer session under oath that takes place before the trial. When you have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, you lawyer will have the opportunity at this session to ask a number of questions to the doctor, to find out more details about the case. The main information the lawyer will try to find out is:

· What the doctor did and why

· What was the rationale behind the treatment provided by the doctor

This testimony is very important for your lawyer for proving your case, and for showing that there was wrongdoing, the wrongdoing caused the injury, and the injury is significant and/or permanent.

The Right Questions to Ask at the Beginning of the Deposition

Many lawyers start the deposition by asking the doctor about his credentials. Usual questions will be, doctor where did you go to medical school, where did you do your training, do you have any publications and so on. These are all important and valid questions; however, these are not the key questions for the entire case. For instance, a key question would be, "Tell me doctor, why did you operate on the wrong side of patient?" Such questions are clear-cut, and it is crucial to know what the key issue of the case is and that is what should be focused on first, at a deposition.

Tackling the Key Issues First

For instance, if the medical malpractice case is about failure to detect bowel perforation during surgery, the following questions should be asked at the beginning of deposition.

· Doctor isn't it true my client suffered a bowel perforation during your surgery?

· Would you agree that it is critical during the course of surgery that you will be aware if a bowel perforation occurs?

· In this instance doctor, is it true that you did not recognize the bowel perforation during the course of your surgery?

Now the lawyer can lead the doctor with a series of questions to obtain an explanation from the doctor why he did not recognize the bowel perforation during the course of the surgery. The doctor will explain why the bowel perforation was not visible, or why he was not able to detect the perforation.

It is essential to ask these key questions to the doctor at the beginning of a deposition because it is necessary to know the key issues of the case and get them out of the way. It is vital for your lawyer to know the rationale and explanations for why things happened or did not happen. After that, the lawyer can transition into more details. The lawyer can then ask:

· Doctor wouldn't you agree that it is stellar or appropriate medical practice that before closing the patient, you examine the bowel and adjacent organs, to make sure there are no other injuries?

· Did you conduct such an examination?

· Explain to us doctor how my client developed a bowel perforation that was not recognized or treated during the time of surgery.

This will put the doctor on the defensive, and the doctor will now have to offer an explanation about how he missed the perforation.

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