What Happens After a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?
Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2022 at 8:07 pm
After suffering injuries in an accident in Texas, you may find yourself dealing with the stress of both physical recovery and money struggles. Medical bills, property damage, and missed time at work often put injured Texans into a deep financial hole. Some people even suffer disabilities that can prevent them from returning to work at all. If someone else was responsible for the accident that injured you, filing an injury claim could help you recover compensation for these losses and hold the negligent party accountable.
While most injury claims end with a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company, negotiations are not always successful. In some cases, insurance adjusters refuse to pay injured people what they deserve. If this has happened in your claim, your only chance at recovering compensation may be to file a lawsuit. A deposition is one of the elements of a civil suit. Knowing what will happen during and after a deposition will help you feel more prepared for what lies ahead.
What Happens in a Deposition?
A deposition is a key component of the pre-trial discovery process in any civil lawsuit. Your deposition is a formal interview with the defense attorney. They will ask you questions about the accident, your injuries, and how your life has changed as a result. The deposition allows lawyers on both sides to learn more about the incident and its consequences in order to develop their strategies for the court case.
The interview will happen under oath. A court reporter will be present to swear you in and transcribe the interview. Because you’ll be under oath, you must answer each question honestly. Misrepresentations or exaggerations can harm your case and may even lead to perjury charges.
Your lawyer will be with you during the deposition. They can’t help you answer questions in the deposition, but they will have prepared you ahead of time. You’ll discuss ways to answer questions that don’t inadvertently hurt your case.
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What Should I Expect After the Deposition?
When the deposition is over, the court reporter will begin preparing the official transcript. This process may take up to a few weeks. Your attorney will obtain a copy they can review it for accuracy. They will submit any necessary corrections to the court.
The defense attorney may ask you to undergo a health examination with an independent doctor. This request is routine, but you should proceed with caution. Avoid speaking with the physician about health matters unrelated to your claim, as the other side may attempt to use this information to hurt your case. Speak with your lawyer before attending the examination so they can help you understand what to say and what to avoid saying.
If the independent examination provides further evidence linking your injuries to the accident, your lawyer may use this information as leverage to make a final attempt to settle with the insurance company.
How Long After a Deposition Is Mediation?
If the insurer is unwilling to settle at this stage, you may have the opportunity to enter a mediation session with the other side. There is no specific timetable for attending mediation after a deposition.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution overseen by a neutral legal professional. The process can often help bring parties to a place where they can find common ground to settle the claim.
Some courts in Texas will require the parties to attempt mediation before proceeding to trial. However, the mediator’s suggestions do not carry the same legal force as a judge’s order or a jury’s verdict. If the parties eventually come to an agreement, it becomes binding only after they have created and signed a contract. A successful mediation can save you a significant amount of time and money that you would otherwise spend on lawyers and court costs for a trial.
How Long After a Deposition Is Settlement?
As long as your lawyer is actively negotiating with the other side, a settlement can happen at any point after mediation. However, if you and the defendant come to an impasse, a courtroom trial will be the only way to recover the compensation you deserve. There is no required timetable for a settlement after a deposition is taken. Settlements can occur right up until the judge or jury arrive at a verdict.
Contact an Experienced Texas Personal Injury Attorney
If you believe your accident-related injury claim is heading to trial, an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you feel prepared. The Beaumont personal injury attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC will fight for your best interests every step of the way, from settlement negotiations to the deposition and beyond. Call us at (409) 838-4444 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.