How Long After a Deposition Will I Get a Settlement?
October 20, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Personal Injury
The timeline for a Miami personal injury case depends on the facts specific to the situation. Some personal injury claims that do not involve severe injuries or disputes related to fault might settle within a few months (or less) after the victim completes medical treatment.
However, some personal injury cases are more complex. They might involve complicated issues related to damages, causation, fault, and liability. Likewise, the parties may be unable to negotiate a settlement amount that all parties are willing to accept.
In that case, the injured victim might file a personal injury lawsuit. If so, each side engages in discovery.
What Happens During a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?
A deposition is sworn testimony taken outside of a courtroom. Before the deposition begins, the person testifying is placed under oath. They swear to tell the truth and can be impeached in court if their testimony differs during the trial from the testimony given during the deposition.
A court reporter records and transcribes the deposition word-for-word. Each party receives a copy of the deposition transcript. A sealed copy is provided to the attorney taking the deposition in case the deposition needs to be submitted to the court as evidence.
During a deposition, the attorney for the other party asks you questions. You must answer each question truthfully. Examples of questions asked during a personal injury deposition include:
- Your identification and address
- Information about your background, including education, work, and medical history
- How the accident and/or injury occurred
- What you remember immediately before and after the accident
- The injuries you sustained in the accident, including the severity and treatment received
- Your financial losses, including medical bills and loss of income
- How the injuries impact your daily activities
The type of questions the attorney asks depends on the type of case. Your Miami personal injury lawyer prepares you for the deposition by explaining the process and some of the questions you should anticipate. Your attorney cannot answer for you during the deposition, but they can help you prepare well in advance so you feel more comfortable and confident.
What Happens After the Deposition Is Over in a Miami Personal Injury Case?
A deposition could last a few hours or a few days. After the deposition ends, the court reporter transcribes everything that was said and sends copies of the deposition to all parties.
A settlement offer might not immediately follow a deposition. Either side may engage in additional forms of discovery, including interrogatories, requests to produce, and requests for admissions. The parties may schedule additional depositions of witnesses and expert witnesses.
Depositions and Discovery Can Encourage Settlement
During discovery, each party has the opportunity to analyze the evidence the other party intends to produce in court. The attorneys determine how strong or weak a case is by the evidence.
Therefore, discovery can be a catalyst for settlement. The other party may realize your evidence is compelling and strong. If the case goes to trial, a jury might rule in your favor and award substantial damages.
Instead of incurring the cost of a trial and risking a potentially significant jury award, the party might make a reasonable settlement offer. If so, your attorney may advise that you accept it. Even if your evidence is strong, you cannot predict what could happen in court or what a jury might decide.
Experienced Miami personal injury lawyers are skilled in weighing the pros and cons of a settlement offer versus taking a case to trial. Your attorney guides you through settlement negotiations and provides legal advice so you can make a well-informed decision on whether to settle your case or proceed to trial.
Can I Receive Different Compensation by Going to Trial for a Personal Injury case?
The types of compensation you receive for a personal injury case do not change whether your case makes it to court or settles before that point (except for punitive damages, which are generally only awarded in cases that go to trial).
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Impairments and disabilities
- Decrease in quality of life and enjoyment of life
- Lost wages and benefits
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
Your lawyer determines how much your case is worth based on your injuries and other factors. If you are unsure whether to accept a settlement offer, talk with an attorney about your case during a free consultation. A Miami personal injury lawyer can advise you whether a settlement offer is fair.