In an accident case, you may be called on to make a deposition, but what exactly does that term mean? It can be pretty shocking to discover that you’ve been in a car accident, especially when you’ve been driving carefully. When you recover from the shock, you become aware of the bodily injuries and property damage the accident caused. You start to wonder how you will foot the medical and property repair bills.
Fortunately, if you’re in Georgia, you don’t have to bear the cost of an auto accident you didn’t cause. Instead, the at-fault driver would be liable for your medical treatment, property repair and replacement, and other losses. However, there’s a process to getting the compensation you deserve.
First, you will have to file a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company with your auto accident lawyer’s help. Sometimes, the insurance company may refuse to bear liability or offer you meager sums instead. When that happens, you may have no choice but to file a lawsuit and, consequently, have a deposition. We’d discuss what all these mean in this article.
What’s a Deposition?
Like we mentioned earlier, insurance companies don’t like to bear liability for auto accidents. As such, they may come up with any flimsy reason to ensure they pay you little or no compensation at all. However, you shouldn’t get frustrated — you can always get your due payment in a personal injury lawsuit.
There are four significant phases in a lawsuit — the discovery, meditation, trial, and appeal stages. A deposition happens in the discovery stage of a lawsuit. It allows both parties in the case to hear each other out before the main trial. The discovery stage gives the parties an idea of what to expect in trial and helps them prepare better for the case.
The deposition happens out of court, between the filing of the suit and trial or settlement. During the process, the parties and their witnesses give their sworn testimonies. Like in a trial, the lawyers representing both parties can ask the deponent a series of questions. Sometimes, the affidavits in a deposition can be admissible in court during the trial.
In summary, a deposition serves these purposes:
- It helps the parties to get detailed facts about the case
- Acts as a mock trial to predict how well a plaintiff or witness will behave in court
- Aids the lawyers in proper analysis of the cases’ success chances
What Happens After a Deposition?
The steps after a deposition are essential in determining the success of the lawsuit. First, a court reporter who was present during the testimony will prepare a transcript. The transcript will contain verbatim accounts of the proceedings. The court reporter will send a copy to both parties for review. The lawyers for both sides will look through their copy to make sure that there are no errors.
Your lawyers can predict the outcome of the lawsuit from the deposition. So, you can ask them questions concerning your cases’ success rates at this stage. Sometimes, you may be required to take an Independent Medical Examination (IME) to ascertain the truth about your injuries. You must let your attorneys guide you through this stage.
After the IME (if any), you may continue your negotiations with the insurance company. That is to avoid you going ahead with a lawsuit when you can reach a mutual agreement. If you eventually reach an agreement with the insurance company, your claim ends after getting your settlement check. If the insurance company wouldn’t give you your demand, you can proceed with the lawsuit.
Do I Have to Proceed to Trial After a Deposition?
If you can’t settle your claim out of court, the next viable option may be to proceed to trial. However, you must consider a lot of factors before you decide to do that. For example, you don’t have to proceed to trial if the expected compensation is of meager value. Instead, your lawyer may advise you on alternative means to get compensation, e.g., through uninsured motorist’s coverage.
If you go to trial, the court will hear both sides and reach a judgment. Like in all civil actions, the court will reach a decision based on the preponderance of evidence in your case. If you win, the court will award some compensation in your favor.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Now!
Do you need a car accident attorney for your case? Then our lawyers at Calvin Smith Law are here to offer you all the legal assistance you need. From gathering evidence to dispositions in lawsuits, we are with you all the way to ensure you get maximum compensation. Contact us today