What Happens After Deposition in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The steps that come after depositions are completed depend on the circumstances of the case. Sometimes, one party wants to negotiate a settlement to resolve the matter outside court. Other times, proceeding to trial seems like the best option.

Completing your deposition can seem like a significant weight off your shoulders. You stressed about and prepared for the process for weeks. Now it’s behind you. However, your case isn’t over yet.

Below are the stages you might encounter after you and the defendant give your depositions.

Review the Deposition Transcripts 

A court reporter will record everything everyone says during the deposition. Once depositions end, they will create a transcript of the entire session.

Your lawyer can request a copy of the transcript of your deposition, the defendant’s deposition, and any other depositions that were taken in your case. They will review them with you to check for errors that need to be corrected.

Your attorney will also consider inconsistencies in the defendant’s statements. It might indicate they lied during their deposition. Inaccurate testimony could strengthen your case and discount the defendant as a credible witness.

Determine Whether to Depose Another Witness

Sometimes, you learn about information during a deposition that requires additional depositions. Your attorney might decide to depose someone else to obtain a clearer picture of the incident.

They can depose an expert witness, such as an accident reconstruction specialist or medical provider, to fill in the holes in your case. They can also depose someone who saw what happened and supports your claim that the defendant should be liable for your injury.

Adjust the Compensation Being Demanded from the Defendant 

Reviewing the defendant’s testimony can help determine the value of your case. An admission of guilt or fault shows the defendant should compensate you for your injury. Your lawyer can use it as evidence to support the amount of compensation you deserve.

If the defendant admits they are at fault for the incident during their deposition, it can improve your chance of securing the compensation you’re entitled to. Your attorney can adjust the amount of money they’re demanding from the defendant and press for a settlement rather than going to trial.

Attend an Independent Medical Examination 

The defense attorney might require you to attend an independent medical examination (IME). An IME is an appointment with a doctor who didn’t diagnose your injury. The appointment is an opportunity for another physician to evaluate your condition and decide whether they agree with the initial diagnosis.

Participate in Settlement Talks 

The plaintiff and insurance company often negotiate a settlement during the insurance claim. Filing a lawsuit is necessary if the insurance carrier denies the claim or refuses to settle for an adequate amount. Settlement talks can occur multiple times throughout a personal injury case.

The defense lawyer might offer a settlement after depositions if they believe their chance of winning at trial is slim. They might want to avoid presenting their case before a jury. However, you don’t have to accept the offer if you believe you deserve higher compensation. Your attorney can advise you about your options and whether your case is strong enough to take to trial. 

How Long After Deposition Is Mediation? 

Mediation might be the next step if negotiating a settlement isn’t successful. In Texas, judges often require the parties to attend mediation. Aside from the judge’s direction, there isn’t a specific timeframe or deadline you must follow to mediate your case when depositions end.

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution. You, your lawyer, and the opposing party will meet with a mediator in an informal setting. The mediator is an unbiased third party who can facilitate negotiations and offer solutions to resolve the matter.

Mediation will start with each party presenting their cases and discussing their evidence. The mediator will separate the parties into different rooms for the rest of the mediation. They will go back and forth between the parties to advise them on the strengths and weaknesses of their cases. They will also explain the benefits of settling outside of court. Resolving the case during mediation might be better than proceeding to trial.

Mediators can’t decide on your personal injury case or enter legal judgments. Their job is to help opposing sides reach a mutually beneficial agreement. If mediation is successful, the mediator will draft a settlement agreement each party will sign. Your lawyer can file it with the court for the judge to approve, and the case will end. 

How Long After Deposition Is Settlement? 

The time it takes to settle after depositions depends on the circumstances of each individual case. Multiple factors can influence the timeframe between deposition and settlement, such as:

  • The defense lawyer believes settling is better than going to trial. They might think their client performed poorly, but your deposition was strong. Instead of taking their chances with a jury, reaching an agreement before the trial begins is their best chance of having some control over the outcome.
  • Your attorney might think going to trial is a good idea if the defense team doesn’t have a solid case. They might be able to poke holes in the defense’s story and present evidence to prove the defendant is liable. A deposition is a good indicator of how someone will do while testifying on the stand. If the defense attorney couldn’t rattle you during your deposition, chances are you’ll hold up well during questioning before a jury.
  • Opposing counsel might consider settling despite believing they can win the case at trial. Litigation can be costly and time-consuming. Rather than spending more time and money on taking the case to court, offering a settlement lower than you initially demanded saves them money if you accept.
  • The defense lawyer will likely reject settlement talks if they think their case is strong enough to convince a jury to rule in their client’s favor. If that happens, the defendant can get away with not compensating you for your injury. 

Speak to an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Case

Personal injury lawsuits involve various steps that can be confusing and complex. You should contact Loewy Law Firm immediately after an accident for help with your case. We can guide you through each stage and prepare you for the complicated aspects of the lawsuit, such as a deposition.

Call Loewy Law Firm at (512) 957-9858 for your free consultation if you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. We have represented injured clients successfully since 2005 and are ready to do the same for you.