A car accident deposition is where the court proceedings of your car accident case begin. This step involves providing your testimonials under oath. It basically lays the foundation for the court to get an idea of the accident that took place. While depositions are essential, the processes that follow hold equal importance. This article discusses what happens after a car accident deposition.
Four Stages of a Car Accident Lawsuit
The court proceeding is the same for every car accident lawsuit. Therefore, you’ll be following a fixed course. A car accident lawsuit involves four main stages: Discovery, Mediation, Trial, and Appeal.
The car accident deposition takes place during the discovery phase. This happens outside the court, usually at the attorney’s office or at the claimant/defendant’s place. Each concerned party and witness provide their testimony under oath. The attorneys also ask a series of questions. Once the discovery phase is over, the case will move into the mediation phase. That’s where your focus should be next. But before mediation, the following events take place:
Court Reporter Prepares Official Transcripts
Based on the testimonies provided, the court reporter will prepare an official transcript. This document contains everything that happened during the series of depositions in a verbatim manner. The reporter will also audio record or videotape the car accident deposition from all parties.
Transcript Is Reviewed By Both Plaintiff And Defendant
Once the transcripts are completed, both plaintiff and defendant will be asked to review them for accuracy. This is also the final chance to request a modification in the statement. If there are any mistakes, you can point them out.
After this point, any modification request will likely not be heard and will further weaken your case. Your lawyer will make the final evaluation based on the inputs provided.
There Might be a Medical Exam Required
After the car accident deposition phase is over, the defendant’s lawyer may ask you to undergo a medical examination. This is common in the case of car accident lawsuits to maintain transparency in the case.
The mediation phase is where the plaintiff and defendant and their respective attorneys go back and forth to reach a common ground. The mediation process is a lot less formal than going to court. This often involves multiple rounds of a meeting, which, just like the car accident deposition, take place outside the court. Here’s what to expect in this phase:
Every mediation meeting starts with an opening statement made by the mediator, followed by those from disputants. A mediator is not a judge or an arbitrator, but a third-person who tries to resolve the disputes and offer a satisfactory solution. He/she will introduce everyone present at the mediation session, recite the rules to be followed, and encourage cooperation between the two parties. Disputants will brief their dispute, consequences, findings, and demands.
The disputants will be allowed to discuss where both participants can respond directly to the opening statement made by the opposite participant. The goal is to refine the dispute further and make the case clearer. You can counter-argue on the things that you do not feel are entirely accurate or are misinterpreted.
After the discussion is over, each party can then have a private meeting with the mediator to discuss the case. Each side will be placed in two separate rooms, with the mediator going back and forth between the rooms. He/she will be providing inputs on the strengths and weaknesses to each party privately to weed out the irrelevant disputes, and exchange offers wherever possible within the law.
Once the caucus sessions are over, the mediator will bring the two disputants together back in a room and encourage each party to negotiate. But there might not be any negotiations until a mutual settlement is reached or the time allotted for the mediation runs out.
In case there’s a mutual agreement, then the mediator will put the primary provision and ask each party to sign on it. This will serve as proof of the mutual agreement and will be forwarded to the court for review. But if such an agreement isn’t possible, then the disputants have the option of meeting some other day again and continue with the mediation session to see if negotiations can be done later.
The Wrap Up
Based on the outcome of the mediation stage, the trials will begin accordingly. In most car accident cases, a settlement is done outside of the court. If you have been recently in an accident and need to give a car accident deposition, hiring a car accident attorney will help. Talk with us to learn more.