Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How can they use my deposition against me?

    Every word you say is typed up into a transcript. Each word can and may be used against you in a civil injury trial. If the case cannot be settled, and we imagine that the case finally gets before a jury, the injured person puts on all of their witnesses and evidence prior to the party being sued. When the time arrives for the defense lawyer to present evidence and witnesses, that defense/insurance lawyer can stand up in front of the jury at one time they choose and read passages or individual questions and answers from your prior court deposition--even if you are not actually on the witness stand testifying! In other words, that lawyer can simply pick parts of your deposition out and read them to the jury, even if you're not testifying at that time. That's pretty powerful use of the deposition but it's only any good if the insurance lawyer catches you in some unbelievable testimony.

    Defense attorneys don't stand up and read parts of your deposition that reinforces how honest you are and how serious your injuries are! They only want to read something that makes fun of you or seeks to paint you as a liar. Here I should note that if the company's representative makes unbelievable statements or bald-faced lies, your injury attorney has the same rights to read parts of that company representative's testimony to a jury during the presentation of all of the evidence supporting your injury case.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • Can I do additional rehab that my doctor hasn't recommended but I think may help in the healing process?

    Any injured person should never attempt physical activities inconsistent with their doctors restrictions. All sorts of issues relating to your physical condition, like whether you suffered any pre-existing condition of relevance, can arise in a deposition.

    If you are out of work from a serious injury, there will likely be an inquiry about all of your prior jobs and employment and you must disclose to your lawyer if you were fired for many prior position and why, and you must disclose any and all prior injury related claims that you have ever filed whether you believe they are relevant or not.

    We deal with lawyers that subpoena high school transcripts, division of motor vehicle driving records, other background checks etc.

  • What is a legal deposition?

    A legal deposition in an injury lawsuit is a formal process where the injured person testifies under oath, which usually means one of the parties--either the injured person's attorney or the defense or insurance attorney, assures that a licensed court reporter/stenographer is present to record the injured person's testimony, which then can be used in certain ways in the injury case.

    Every state and federal court specifies a written court procedure on exactly how a deposition can be conducted, and other provisions specify how it can later be used once it is typed up by a court reporter.

    Also, these written court rules specify that such a deposition can be videotaped and some court rules even provide that a deposition may in fact be videotaped and without a court stenographer present. Court reporters are highly trained and most states require licensure.

  • Is the court reporter from the court?

    The "court reporter" is an independent licensed stenographer that is not an employee of the court system (some courts do employ court reporters, but those court reporters transcribe court hearings or trials. Depositions are normally not held at the courthouse but rather at any suitable conference room or an attorney's office conference room). In every city there are court reporting firms that have licensed court reporter stenographers on staff who are essentially independent contractors.

    An attorney simply calls up a court reporter for the area and asks that the court reporter cover a deposition and that court reporter is paid through a bill provided to the injured person's attorney or if the deposition is requested by the insurance lawyer or the defense lawyer, that lawyer is obligated to pay the appearance costs and fees for typing up each page of the deposition they order. Ultimately, no matter who wants a copy of the deposition transcribed, the court reporting company bills per page for the deposition transcript, and these days attorneys often receive both a hard copy and an e-mail copy of the deposition testimony of the witness. The longer the deposition, the more pages, which translates to more cost billed by the court reporter.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • What deposition advice can you give me?

    A highly competent injury attorney, like those working for Shapiro & Appleton takes the time to review all of the main issues that are likely to come up in a deposition with their client, listens carefully to the client's version of events and explains how an attorney may try to twist their words against them.

    Depending upon how serious the issues are in the case, we may spend hours meeting with a client to prepare them for a deposition. Words of wisdom include never lie, never think you can cover-up an issue that you personally believe is irrelevant to your present injuries, as it is up to your experienced injury attorney to learn what you think is irrelevant and then advise you of the law that applies or whether some legal privilege applies that can protect you from disclosing that information.

    This type of thing is exactly why you decided to hire an attorney so full disclosure is important in confidence as the attorney-client privilege protects certain kinds of disclosures that the law deems inadmissible in an injury case. Just don't make that decision in your mind without disclosing it to your attorney. Do not think that the other attorney may never find out about some pre-existing medical care that you kind of decided is not relevant. Real bad idea-you must cover with your personal injury attorney. We handle some high-stakes litigation involving serious and catastrophic injuries as well as the routine injury case. In some serious/catastrophic litigation it is not unusual for private investigators to stake out injured persons and we explain this to our clients, as the ramifications can be serious.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • Is it possible for me to file a claim against the U.S. military if I am injured during active duty military service because of mistakes by the military?

    Currently, no. The United States is protected from personal injury claims or wrongful death claims by active military members that occur during the active duty military service, even if the injuries were due to mistakes made by the military or its doctors. The "Feres Doctrine" prevents claims made by active duty service members. Our firm has written extensively about the "Feres Doctrine" and the need to change this law, but it is still in existence and routinely upheld in court.  

  • What if the injury is caused by another military service member?

    The "Feres Doctrine" does not allow any action against active duty members of the military. For example, if an active duty service member injures another service member while on or off base, the Feres Doctrine prevents filing a claim in civil court.  

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • What if the injury is caused by military contractors?

    You should be able to file a claim against a military contractor since your claims can be brought against an individual or company, but not against the federal government or military. For example, if Contractor X produced a weapon or a parachute that you used during active service and the weapon or parachute breaks due to faulty construction and you get injured, then there is a possible case for injury or wrongful death (as long as the claim is filed against the company, not the military, but there are still defense to these suits made by such companies).

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • Do the Feres Doctrine restrictions extend to members of my family?

    The Feres Doctrine prevents family members from filing claims on behalf of active duty military members but the Doctrine does not extend to family members injured in a federal hospital or other setting. For example, if a loved one has surgery at a military hospital and gets injured due to medical negligence, the loved one can file a claim as long as they're not active duty military.  Various rules and deadlines apply so seek immediate legal advice from a personal injury attorney familiar with such claims. 
     

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • What happens if I am no longer in active service, but I'm injured by a federal employee?

    You should be able to file a claim if a federal employee causes your injury. For example, if a physician at the Veteran's Administration (VA) hospital, commits an error and you are injured, you should be able to bring a lawsuit against the U.S. This type of action is permitted by the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act.  Again, various rules and procedures must be followed.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.