Why A Court Reporter Is Needed During a Personal Injury Case Deposition

If you were recently injured in some kind of personal injury accident, such as a car crash, slip and fall, pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, or product defect, then you may ultimately decide to hold the party at-fault accountable through filing a lawsuit against them for damages and losses. With help from your attorney, you can pursue financial compensation for medical bills, loss of wage, diminished quality of life, physical therapy, surgery, property damage, and more.

At some point during your personal injury case, you will have to prepare yourself for a deposition. You should meet with your attorney prior to the deposition so you can run through a list of example questions and get comfortable with your answers beforehand. Your depositions may take place at a court reporter’s office, attorneys office, or hotel conference room.

Getting Ready For the Deposition

A deposition is essentially an interview with a series of questions that the other person must answer to the best of their ability and honestly. The intention of a deposition is for the opposite side to obtain the information they need about the personal injury accident and injuries. You may be asked questions such as how your injury was caused, the severity of your injuries, and factors of the incident. Those who would attend a deposition are often your attorney, the opposing attorney, you, and a court reporter. Other parties involved may appear, such as the defendant, must in most cases they do not. 

Hiring a Court Reporter

It is imperative that you and your attorney hire a court reporter who is experienced and properly trained to transcript legal proceedings. These professionals may also be called shorthand reporters or stenographers, and are responsible for making written records for various types of legal proceedings, either in a private setting, court, or government office. The court reporter you hire should be knowledgeable about the verbatim used in personal injury cases. Here is a list of requirements and standards that court reporters must fulfill or abide by:

  • Court reporters must have knowledge of: methods, practices, techniques for shorthand court reporting, clerical/legal record keeping procedures, medical/legal or other related terminology for the legal proceeding at hand, the English language (and perhaps other languages depending on the needs of those involved in the case), spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation.

  • Court reporters must have the skills to: use a stenographer machine at 200 words per minute, work independently, perform clerical work with an advanced level of speed and accuracy, and read back records verbatim during the legal proceeding when requested.

  • Court reporters must be able to: follow written and oral directions, stay seated for extended periods of time, focus continuously for a long duration, communicate orally and in writing with efficiency, operate relevant equipment (such as computer terminals, printers, audio equipment, and transcription machines). 

If you are in need of a court reporter for your personal injury deposition, be sure to hire someone who has years of experience, can show proof of training and education, and provide references for past court reporting jobs.