While giving a deposition can seem intimidating and official, it is an essential part of a personal injury claim process. According to a report by the American Bar Association (ABA), depositions are the “centerpiece of discovery in civil litigation.” You have no reason to worry, though.
Judd Shaw Injury Law can be your guide so you are prepared for your deposition. We have handled thousands of cases and know exactly how to help our clients feel comfortable and prepared for the process. This is part of doing things the Judd Shaw Way.
What Does a Deposition Look Like?
Depositions are often conducted in a private setting where a person is giving his or her sworn testimony about a matter. In a personal injury case, this event does not take place in court, but it can seem as official as a trial. A court reporter or clerk is often present, and both sides may be asked questions about their knowledge of the incident.
Factors that may be considered during a deposition include:
- What type of injuries the plaintiff suffered
- How those injuries were treated
- The plaintiff’s employment history
- The medical background of the plaintiff to determine any pre-existing injuries
- Descriptions of what led up to the incident
- How the incident impacted your life
Your attorney should know exactly the types of questions you will be asked and will be able to prepare you for them. He or she will provide instructions on how the questions should be answered. There may even be other side questions you do not expect, so be sure to listen to your attorney. If you have been hurt and are facing a deposition, call Judd Shaw Injury Law today.
What Are the Steps of a Deposition?
If you have decided you want to make a claim for compensation, you may want to know how a deposition works. It can seem complicated, but your attorney will be able to help you through the process. The following is a list of steps you can expect during and after deposition.
Recording and reviewing the transcript
The first step of the deposition is the communication process. The court reporter or clerk will record the conversation with your lawyer. This recording usually happens with some type of device, but there can also be a microphone involved, and notes may be taken.
Once all the questions are asked, you and your attorney will go through the transcript carefully. If there are any errors, you should report these immediately to your attorney so the court can be notified.
The deposition will be evaluated
Once all the facts are down on paper, your attorney will have a clearer understanding of how he or she thinks the case will go. Your testimony can have a huge impact on how the process moves forward. This includes how much compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Your attorney will also evaluate the testimony from the other party to determine if any lies were told by the defendant under oath.
After being injured, you have probably gone to see a doctor. Your resulting medical records may help prove you were injured as a result of the incident in question. The problem is that those records may not satisfy the other party’s attorney.
After reviewing your medical records, you may be requested to see a second independent doctor. If this other doctor disagrees with your doctor’s assessment, the value of your claim may be lowered. Your lawyer can help prepare you for this examination to prevent your condition from being downplayed.
After both sides get all the information they need, and medical examinations are complete, the discovery phase is over. Your attorney will now go over every detail and determine your ideal compensation total. From there, the decision will be made on whether a settlement should be made or if it is better to go straight to trial.
Negotiation with the other party
There are often several attempts at negotiating a fair settlement throughout the process. The first attempt may happen after the accident occurs. Both sides may want to avoid wasting money, so the insurance company may try to get you to settle early.
The problem with settling too early is the amount is often very low and will not be close to what you are owed. That initial offer is typically denied, and the negotiations continue with the hope that a settlement can be reached.
When multiple rounds of negotiation result with no agreement made, there will be one last attempt to resolve the issue by the court. Your attorney and an insurance mediator will have a meeting with a mediator.
This mediator is quite often a judge who will hear both sides of the argument. From there, he or she will let the two parties know how the court may rule after the evidence is presented. The mediator may also share the amount of the fair settlement desired.
Filing a lawsuit
Once the mediator shares how the court will likely rule, it is up to either side to decide how to move forward. The best case scenario is both sides accepting the potential outcome and agreeing to a settlement.
Most cases do end with a settlement before the official lawsuit is filed and a case proceeds. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the lawsuit is filed.
The trial begins
During a trial, both parties will present their case again before the judge. Once the closing arguments are given, the judge will make the final decision and rule in favor of one side or the other. Once the court has decided, both parties must adhere to the ruling, and the case is over.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Lawsuit After a Deposition?
Depositions often happen quickly after the incident in question. Your lawyer will want to know the details of what happened while it is still fresh in your mind. From there, it can be difficult to determine how long a settlement will take.
The discovery phase can be long and complex. Both sides will want to make sure they have the best information available to move forward with. While it is possible a settlement can happen quickly, it is best to stay prepared for the long haul.
Call Judd Shaw Injury Law for Experienced Legal Representation
When making a claim for compensation, the process of actually getting the money you deserve can be complex. You will want the most experienced attorney fighting by your side. He or she will be battle-hardened and know what it takes to win. This also means going up against the toughest negotiators and still coming through for his or her clients.
Judd Shaw Injury Law has offered high-quality legal representation to clients for many years. We will never sit by and let the insurance company take advantage of needy injury victims. We follow a strict code of excellence we call the Judd Shaw Way, which is designed to protect your rights at all costs. Our dedication and results speak for themselves.