If you have been injured due to the negligent acts of another party, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party to recover compensation for your injuries. The vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved outside of the courtroom. But if your Tampa personal injury attorneys cannot reach a settlement, they will need to file a lawsuit to continue fighting for the compensation you deserve.
The discovery phase of your personal injury case will begin shortly after the lawsuit is filed. This is the stage where both parties start gathering information related to the personal injury claim. One tool that is used during the discovery phase is a deposition, which is a witness’s sworn out-of-court testimony.
Being questioned during a deposition is a nerve-wracking, stressful experience for many personal injury victims. If you are approaching this stage in your personal injury case, it’s important to know what happens during and after a deposition. Here’s what you should expect:
What Should You Expect During A Deposition In A Personal Injury Case?
The defendant’s attorney will most likely ask you to sit for a deposition during your personal injury case. The purpose of this deposition is to learn more about the facts of the case. But the opposing counsel will also use the deposition to try to get you to make statements that weaken your case.
You are under oath during a deposition, which means you cannot exaggerate the truth or lie when answering the opposing counsel’s questions. If you don’t know the answer to something, simply say you aren’t sure instead of guessing. You should also take your time when answering questions. Pause and collect your thoughts before you begin speaking so you don’t accidentally say something that could be used against you later on in your case.
The questions that you will be asked during a deposition will vary depending on the nature of your case. But in general, personal injury victims are typically asked:
- What illnesses and injuries have you suffered from prior to the accident?
- Can you describe the events leading up to the accident?
- What injuries did you sustain in the accident?
- How were your injuries treated?
- How did your injuries affect your ability to work?
- How did your injuries affect your daily life?
- What are the long-term consequences of your injuries?
- Have you ever filed a personal injury lawsuit before?
You should also be prepared to answer questions related to your employment history, criminal record, and medical background. Your attorney will work with you prior to your deposition to ensure you know how to handle each question that is thrown your way.
What Happens After the Discovery Phase?
The discovery stage will end once both parties have finished gathering the evidence they need for their case. At this point, both parties will typically try to reach a settlement outside of the courtroom once again. Even though earlier settlement talks failed, both parties may be more willing to negotiate and compromise in order to avoid going to trial. Plus, now that the discovery stage is over, both parties know what evidence the other party plans on using in their case. If one party believes the other party has a strong case, this may motivate them to reach a settlement.
Sometimes, the two attorneys are able to reach an agreement on their own at this stage in the case. But if not, the two parties may agree to try to reach a settlement in mediation.
Mediation is a procedure in which the two parties meet with a neutral third party mediator outside of the courtroom. Both sides will have an opportunity to present their case to the mediator. Then, the mediator will try to help both parties reach a resolution. The mediator does not decide how much compensation should be awarded or who is at fault. Instead, the mediator’s role is to simply facilitate the negotiation between the two parties.
The parties are not required to reach a settlement in mediation. If mediation is not successful, both parties will move to the next stage in the personal injury case, which is the trial.
What Should You Expect During A Personal Injury Trial?
Both parties are given an opportunity to present their case during a personal injury trial. Various types of evidence may be introduced at trial, including witness testimony, physical evidence, accident reconstruction data, photographs, medical records, and more. Your attorney may call a number of expert witnesses to the stand to explain complex topics related to the accident and your injuries.
Each attorney will present their closing argument once both sides have finished presenting their evidence to the court. After the closing arguments are complete, the jury will leave the courtroom to begin deliberations. The jury may reach a verdict in a matter of hours, days, or weeks, depending on the complexity of the case.
The jury will notify the judge once they have reached a verdict. The judge will then call everyone back into the courtroom to read the verdict to the parties involved in the case. The jury will decide whether or not the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and if so, how much compensation the plaintiff should receive from the defendant.
Don’t Hesitate to Seek Legal Representation From Our Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But obtaining compensation isn’t as easy as it should be for victims. That’s why you should turn to the skilled personal injury attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett for help.
Our attorneys have over 125 years of combined experience representing the injured. We know what it takes to win the maximum amount of compensation available for our clients. Let us guide you through the personal injury claim process and work tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case.