After being in a car accident, it can feel like a daunting task to navigate the legal waters. One of the most important steps in the process is deposition - when an individual gives sworn testimony under oath. But after that, what happens?
Depositions are a crucial step in any car accident case, as it helps to establish facts about what happened during the accident and who might be at fault. This testimony can then be used during settlement negotiations or in court if necessary. An experienced Austin car accident lawyer will be able to help you prepare for this stage in the case.
Once deposition has been completed, there are several things that happen next - depending on your situation - that may affect the outcome of your car accident case. In this post, we will explore what happens after deposition, including the settlement process and other options available to those involved in a car accident case.
What Are The Steps After A Car Accident Deposition?
Once the deposition is complete, it's time to review the case and determine what steps need to be taken next. Generally speaking, the next steps are as follows:
- Review Evidence From Deposition: Once the deposition has been taken, your attorney will review all of the evidence gathered during the deposition, such as photos, videotapes, medical records, witness statements, etc. This can help your attorney pinpoint any discrepancies in your case or any areas that may need more evidence.
- File Motions: Your attorney may decide to file motions if they believe that certain relevant evidence should be presented in court. These motions could include requests for a summary judgment, which would decide the outcome of the case without having to go to trial; a motion for a change of venue; or a motion for sanctions against a defendant who has failed to comply with discovery requests or other court orders.
- Negotiate Settlement: If both parties are able to come to an agreement on how much money should be paid out as compensation for damages and injuries sustained in the accident, then they can enter into negotiations and ideally come up with a fair settlement amount that is agreeable to both parties involved in the accident.
Will My Case Settle At Pre-Trial Deposition?
After the deposition, it’s important to understand what happens next in the car accident case. The next step is typically pre-trial mediation. The mediator is typically a trained lawyer who helps both parties evaluate the evidence presented in the case and come to an agreement.
Generally speaking, the purpose of mediation is to resolve disputes outside of court. This sets out an informal framework for both parties to negotiate on their own terms and come to an agreement that's viably satisfying for all involved.
The mediator will review any evidence presented, listen to each party's arguments, and help them explore different options for settlement. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong but guides both parties towards a mutually beneficial solution that prevents the necessity of a more lengthy and costly trial process.
How Can Review Of Evidence & Discovery Change My Case?
After the deposition is complete, your attorney will then review all of the evidence gathered in the case, such as the police report, witness statements, photos, and any other evidence obtained during the discovery process. During this time your attorney may even contact other experts who can provide important insight into the case and any relevant evidence.
Once all of the evidence is collected, it is time for your lawyer to analyze it and create a strategy to present your case in court. Your attorney will also discuss possible settlement offers from the other side with you, and explain whether or not it is in your best interest to accept them or move forward with a trial.
Ultimately, it is important that you trust your lawyer's judgment throughout this process as they will be able to guide you through all of the legal aspects involved in a car accident case. With their experience and expertise, they will be able to craft a strong argument that has a higher chance of winning in court.
What Are Pre-Trial Hearings In Car Accident Cases?
After the deposition, the parties involved will go through multiple pre-trial stages, such as court hearings and mediations. Both the plaintiff and the defendant can have a representative present to speak on their behalf during these hearings.
The goal of pre-trial hearings is to resolve as many issues as possible before an actual trial is held. This includes matters of disclosure and discovery, witness testimony, rules of evidence, and settlement negotiations. In some cases, both sides may decide to settle before a trial takes place, which is beneficial for both parties involved.
Parties may also use pretrial hearings to file motions that could influence the outcome of the case. This includes filing motions in limine (to eliminate certain evidence from being presented in court) or motions for summary judgment (to end a case if it meets certain criteria). Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide whether or not to accept a motion.
If no resolution is reached after all pre-trial proceedings have been completed, both sides will be asked to submit a proposed verdict or statement of facts that they would like the court to review during trial. These documents are usually due around 10 days before the trial date is set.
What Are the Strategies for Settlement Negotiations?
Once the deposition phase is done and complete, your lawyer will review the case to evaluate who was at fault. After doing so, they will outline a strategy of negotiations to reach an appropriate settlement in your case. This process can be tricky, as the goal is to get the most compensation while avoiding a lengthy trial or going to court.
There are key strategies that should be followed during settlement negotiation to ensure you get a fair resolution and compensation for your losses. Some of these include:
Your lawyer will gather any relevant evidence related to the case such as depositions, witness testimonies, and medical bills to support your claim for damages. Through this process, any potential legal issues that were brought up in the deposition can also be addressed in depth with supporting evidence.
Know Your Rights
It’s important for you and your lawyer to understand all of your rights when it comes to dealing with the other party’s insurance company. Through careful analysis of pertinent laws in your state or jurisdiction, they can determine what compensation you may be entitled to by law. Knowing and understanding these rights ahead of time puts you in a stronger position during negotiations.
In order to gain full financial reimbursement from an insurance company, it’s essential that you calculate all relevant damages incurred as a result of the car accident. Items such as medical bills, lost wages due to missing workdays, vehicle repairs and replacement costs should all be accounted for when calculating total damages for potential settlement purposes.
What Final Steps To Expect Before Trial?
After a deposition is taken, and depending upon the state and type of case, the steps that occur before trial day vary. In some cases, a lawyer may file motions or requests for documents which can potentially set the groundwork for settlement negotiations.
In most cases, after depositions are taken and initial motion practice has concluded, lawyers enter the “discovery” stage of litigation or investigation. This is when attorneys will obtain evidence by requesting documents, conducting depositions of additional witnesses or even hiring expert witnesses to testify at trial.
In personal injury matters involving a car accident, settlement negotiations generally take place during this discovery phase. Both parties will exchange information and attempt to reach a majority agreement as to how much money will be paid to the injured party in exchange for dismissal of the case.
It is important to note that settlement negotiations are voluntary and either party can walk away from a deal if they so choose prior to trial day. If an agreement is not reached via negotiation then the case will proceed down the path of litigation and eventually arrive at trial day.
Call Fletcher Law For Help With Your Car Accident Deposition.
All in all, the deposition process is a critical part of a car accident case. The statements provided in the deposition may be used during the trial, so it is important that all parties in the case are fully aware of the potential implications. After the deposition, the process typically moves on to mediation, pre-trial hearings, or the formal trial. These steps help all parties in the case, including the plaintiff, defendant, and all other relevant parties, resolve the dispute and reach a fair settlement.
Contact Fletcher Law if you have questions or concerns about an upcoming deposition. We can review your case and help you understand what to expect.