What Happens After a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?
Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2022 at 10:17 am
Most personal injury claims reach a settlement before a lawsuit becomes necessary. However, if the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to settle or undervalues an injured person’s claim, going to court may be the only way to recover the compensation they deserve.
Before the trial begins, each party will have the opportunity to gather facts about the other side through a process called “discovery.” One of the key aspects of discovery is the deposition, a recorded interview a lawyer conducts to assess what an individual witness knows about the facts and circumstances of the case.
If you are going to be sitting for a deposition in your injury case, you may have questions about how the process works and what happens afterward. An experienced Cincinnati personal injury attorney can help you feel prepared for the interview and everything that follows.
Which Parties Need to Sit for a Deposition?
Accident cases tend to involve an injured person (the plaintiff) filing a suit against a negligent party (the defendant) whose actions led to the accident. Both the plaintiff and the defendant will undergo depositions from the opposing side’s lawyer. Furthermore, witnesses to the accident may need to sit for depositions to provide their knowledge about the incident.
How Do Lawyers Use Depositions in Accident Lawsuits?
When you sit for your interview, the defense attorney will ask you questions about the accident, your injuries, and the consequences. You will be under oath, so you must answer each question truthfully. A court reporter will be present to create an official transcript of the deposition, which they will also send to each party’s attorney.
When your attorney compares the facts that emerged from your deposition to those that came out of the defendant’s, they will hope to see that the two accounts are consistent. If this is the case, your lawyer may be able to persuade the other side to settle the lawsuit without the need to go to trial.
In some cases, however, the defendant will elect to proceed to trial, and you will testify in court. If this becomes necessary, your attorney can use the transcript from your deposition to ensure that your answers in your courtroom testimony remain consistent with what you’ve already said on the record.
How Long After Deposition Is Mediation?
Once your deposition is complete, the parties may attend a mediation session. Mediation is a process in which a neutral legal professional (the “mediator”) attempts to help the parties reconcile their differences and reach a settlement. This can happen at the parties’ request or because of a judge’s order.
Will I Have to Sit for More Than One Deposition?
In most cases, only one deposition is necessary for each party. However, some rare exceptions may justify the need for a second. Nevertheless, the answers you provide in your deposition may prompt the defense attorney to make further discovery requests. For example, they may ask you to undergo an independent medical examination to assess the nature and extent of the injuries you suffered in the accident.
How Long After Deposition is Settlement?
The two sides may continue negotiating to reach a settlement right up to when the judge or jury arrive at a verdict. There is no timeline that directs the parties to arrive at a settlement agreement after a deposition.
What Happens After Discovery is Complete?
At the end of discovery, the lawyers for both sides will have a clearer picture of the facts and circumstances of the suit. What happens next will depend on what that picture looks like from each point of view.
- If the facts seem clear and neither side wishes to dispute them, the two sides can re-enter negotiations and resolve the case via settlement.
- If the parties cannot settle despite the undisputed nature of the facts, they can request that the court resolve outstanding issues without the need for a trial. The mechanism by which a court can take this action is known as “summary judgment.”
- If the parties cannot agree on facts, liability, or damages, the case will move forward to trial.
Contact an Experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney
Sitting for a deposition can feel overwhelming. The experienced Cincinnati personal injury lawyers of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC will give you everything you need to feel prepared, and we will be beside you throughout the interview. Our attorneys have the knowledge and skill to craft a powerful case and work to recover the compensation you deserve.