What Happens After the Deposition in a Personal Injury Claim?
Posted on Saturday, October 8th, 2022 at 6:34 pm
Depositions are routinely taken during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit. In a deposition, you will provide testimony under oath to another attorney. A court reporter will record your exact response to each question.
Your lawyer may depose people who saw your accident or who may have contributed to it. A defense lawyer, often representing an insurance company, may also ask you to give a deposition to record your testimony about the accident.
You may wonder what occurs after you and your lawyer participate in a deposition. While some essential and standard procedures always follow any deposition, how the results will impact your case depends on various factors. In this post, we’ll explain some general possibilities, but you should turn to your lawyer for advice about your specific case.
Transcribing and Reviewing the Deposition
After the deposition, the court reporter will create a complete transcript. This process can take some time, often two to three weeks, to complete. Once they finish, they will send a copy of the transcript to your lawyer and the defense team.
Court reporters are humans and can make transcription errors. Therefore, once your lawyer receives a copy of the deposition transcript, both of you have thirty days to review it for accuracy.
It’s crucial to ensure that what’s listed in the transcript matches what you said under oath to the examiner. If mistakes in a section where you discussed pivotal details are not addressed, the defense will use contradictory or inconsistent answers to argue against your credibility.
Determining the Next Steps After Review
Once your lawyer has reviewed the deposition, and any necessary corrections are finalized, they will determine how your testimony impacts the case, including settlement negotiations.
If your lawyer conducted the deposition, they might conclude that extra information from a different deponent is necessary. In this case, they will seek to summon that person for a new deposition, and the transcribing and review process will repeat itself.
Medical Exams After a Deposition
After your deposition, a defense lawyer may request an independent medical examination that confirms your statements. Think of this step as a “second opinion” on your injuries from a physician the defense selects.
While these examinations will be biased against you, a court may still require you to participate. Your lawyer will help you prepare for the exam and gather additional medical documentation to support the losses you claim.
Negotiations and Discovery After a Deposition
As negotiations proceed, your lawyer can use quotes from the deposition as leverage to support a fair settlement. The defense could also adjust any offers they make. If the deposition transcript and other evidence clearly point to the at-fault party’s liability, it may be in the defense’s interest to settle as soon as possible.
Sometimes, one or both sides will determine they need more evidence. Depositions may lead to other types of discovery, including requests for production, requests for admission, or interrogatories. Either side can obtain additional documentation supporting the deponent’s testimony using these tools.
Can I Be Deposed Again?
Oklahoma outlines procedural rules and limits for deposition by oral examination. Depositions of this type can last for a maximum of six hours and must occur on a single day.
Statutes do not allow someone to be deposed by oral examination more than once. However, a judge may grant special permission, called “leave of court,” for another deposition of the same witness. Before either side can request leave of court, they must call or visit their opponent and ask them to agree in writing to another deposition.
If the defense in your case approaches you about a second deposition, you can decline to provide a written agreement. However, this choice does not protect you from providing more testimony if a judge finds it appropriate.
Contact an Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re facing a deposition in your personal injury case, the Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys of Abel Law Firm are ready to represent you. Our team has more than 150 years of combined legal experience that we will bring to bear on your case. You can rely on us to diligently pursue the compensation you deserve after you were injured in an accident caused by someone else.
Contact our office today at (405) 239-7046 for a free consultation.