If you have been injured in a car crash, you may have to file a lawsuit to recover your losses. You will likely be asked to participate in a deposition. While this may sound intimidating, it’s an important step in your case.
A good personal injury will prepare you for your deposition and tell you what to expect. After your deposition, your car accident lawsuit may settle before trial or go to court. Being prepared for your deposition can help you get the best outcome for your car accident case.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is a court hearing that takes place during discovery, the first stage of a car accident lawsuit. Your deposition will take place out of court. You will be asked to give your sworn testimony under oath in the presence of a court reporter and attorneys.
A deposition is a formal question-and-answer session about a car crash. The person being deposed will give their account of events. A deposition offers lawyers from both sides of the case a chance to:
- Hear everyone’s account of events
- Evaluate the weight of the testimony
- Decide if this witness may sway a judge or jury
A deposition will provide essential information to both the defendant and the plaintiff’s lawyers. In car accident lawsuits, depositions will typically cover three subjects, including your background, how the collision occurred, and the severity of your injuries. Your lawyer can further explain what to expect in a deposition.
For a free legal consultation, call (205) 380-4158
Should You Have a Lawyer at Your Deposition?
You should have a personal injury lawyer present at your deposition. Your lawyer will stop you from answering questions that might hurt your chances of winning your case. You may have difficulty knowing when a question goes too far if you appear at a deposition without representation.
What to Expect After Your Deposition
A court reporter will record your deposition and may use a stenotype or audio recorder. After your deposition, the court reporter will create a transcript. This may take a few days or weeks to prepare.
You Will Receive a Transcript
Both the defendant and the plaintiff will receive a copy of the deposition transcript. Both lawyers will review the transcript for accuracy. Tell your lawyer if you see any errors.
Your lawyer will review your transcript and determine how the deposition may affect your injury lawsuit. Your lawyer may determine that more information is needed and depose additional witnesses.
You May Be Asked to Get a Medical Exam
In car accident lawsuits, the defendant’s attorney commonly requests the plaintiff to get an independent medical exam. If you are asked to get a medical exam, only your injured body parts mentioned in the lawsuit may be included in the exam. Object to any exam that goes beyond your documented injuries.
What if the Insurance Company Tells You Which Doctor to Visit?
It’s common for insurance companies to direct you to a specific doctor for your medical exam after a car accident. However, their doctor may be biased. An insurer’s chosen doctor may claim your injuries are minor or unrelated to the collision. Your lawyer will have your own doctor provide a report that can be used in your case.
Trial or Settlement Agreement
Once your deposition and any doctor’s visits have been completed, your lawyer will begin negotiations with the liable party’s insurance company. If the insurance company agrees to pay you a fair settlement, your case can be resolved without a trial.
Your lawyer may advise you to accept or decline a settlement offer, but you can make your own decision if you disagree. If the insurance company refuses to pay you a fair amount, your lawyer may recommend taking your case to court.
If You Go to Trial After a Car Accident Deposition
Taking a car accident lawsuit to trial may be risky. Your attorney will advise you on your chances of winning. If you both feel that a trial is the right option for your case, your lawyer will prepare you for court.
You and the defendant will both testify at the trial. Your lawyer may also call for medical experts and witnesses of the car crash to testify. Your deposition can be used at the trial to verify or refute statements given at the trial.
Once all arguments have been presented, a judge or jury will return a verdict on your case. If you win your lawsuit, you will be awarded compensation for your injuries and financial losses.
How Much Should I Expect from My Car Accident Settlement?
The average car accident settlement falls between $14,000 and $28,000. If your car wreck left you with permanent disabilities or requires extensive treatment, your settlement may be higher. Your attorney can review your losses and calculate a suitable settlement for your car accident case.
How Long does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Case?
After your deposition, it may take a few weeks before you receive the transcript. It may take a while longer before your lawyer comes to an agreement with the insurance company.
Once a fair settlement is reached, the insurance company will ask you to sign a release form. You can expect to receive a settlement check within four to six weeks.
Work With a Car Accident Lawyer from Our Firm
You don’t have to handle your case alone. You have the right to seek legal representation when you seek compensation for a car accident. Our legal team at the Morris Bart law firm can handle your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit from start to finish while you rest and recuperate.
Our personal injury lawyers advocate for victims of negligence and fight for fair compensation. We can represent you throughout the entire legal process. Call us today for a free consultation.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.