The Important Role a Court Reporter Plays in a Personal Injury Accident Case

Court reporters are responsible for creating written transcripts for legal processes. These professionals have been trained to type at rapid speed and document words said verbatim, so that the records can be used by attorneys to help their client’s case. Because of how important these documents can be to a person’s case, a court reporter must have around 95% accuracy. A court reporter usually uses a stenotype machine to record legal proceedings, which has a specialized keyboard for shorthand use. Court reporters may type up to speeds of around 200-300 words per minute. 

Using a Court Reporter During a Deposition

Now that you know what a court reporter does, we can talk about why you should use such a person during a personal injury accident deposition. When you file a lawsuit against an offending party in civil court, both sides will have to go through a discovery phase, which entails depositions. The intention of a deposition is for each side to obtain as much information as possible, and then use that to continue building their case.

The deposition can make or break a person’s case, so it is vital that accurate notes are taken about what questions are asked and the subsequent answers. While you may be able to save money by not hiring a court reporter, it could end up being the reason that you lose your case. The average person just isn’t trained to keep up with and type a transcript with the same level of precision as a court reporter.

Other duties that a court reporter may have to perform in regards to a personal injury case include:

  • Filing transcripts in a timely manner
  • Reviewing and certifying that printed transcripts are accurate
  • Preparing transcripts based on standardized formatting 
  • Coordinating with attorneys and their clients about when courtroom proceedings or any other legal meetings are occurring 
  • Promptly reading back statements from the transcript while the deposition is still in session, as requested by either attorney
  • Having the stamina to sit for long periods of time while focusing
  • Performing clerk-related duties, administering oaths, maintaining logs, transferring files, and ensuring the appropriate parties receive a copy of the transcript for reference
  • Always being punctual, adaptable, and reliable
  • Having knowledge on legal terminology, particularly for the case at hand

Who Attends Depositions

In addition to the court reporter, your attorney, yourself, the opposing attorney, and maybe the defendant will attend the deposition. A videographer may or may not be present to record the deposition as well. Your attorney can help you prepare for the deposition so you feel more comfortable when the time comes. Other parties that may be questioned during a deposition include witnesses, medical experts, and other people whose statements may influence the case. Judges do not attend depositions, unless there is a special circumstances that necessitates their attendance.

If you are suing another party for causing a personal injury accident, which led to significant injury and other losses, then it’s time to hire a court reporter.