It is easy to get hung up on the deposition aspect of a personal injury case in San Antonio; this is the in-person interview process that most plaintiffs focus on as a point of concern or anxiety. Yet it is also important to understand what happens after the deposition as an injured party. A deposition is only one part of many that make up the personal injury lawsuit process in Texas.
What Is a Deposition?
First, if you are unfamiliar with a deposition, it is a step during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit. A deposition is an opportunity for an injured victim to tell his or her side of the story on the record. If you have to attend a deposition during your personal injury case, you will have to answer questions from the attorney on the other side of your claim while under oath.
Depositions typically take place in attorneys’ offices, not courtrooms. Questions can vary according to the specifics of the case but generally focus on you as a person, your employment history, the accident, and your injuries. The goal of the deposition is for both sides of the case to be on the same page when it comes to the essential facts. This allows for a faster and more efficient legal process.
What Comes After a Deposition?
If either party needs information from a source other than the plaintiff or defendant, it may call upon other witnesses to be deposed after the initial depositions. A court reporter will record all depositions and turn them into written transcripts to be used during the personal injury case if it goes to trial. Then, both parties will move on with the rest of the lawsuit.
A Continuation of the Discovery Phase
After the conclusion of the deposition, both sides of the case will continue with the discovery phase. Discovery is an important part of a lawsuit. During discovery, the plaintiff and defendant’s attorneys can communicate back and forth to swap information and evidence. Aside from depositions, the discovery phase may also involve interrogatories (written questions), subpoenas for documents or evidence, and independent medical examinations.
Once both sides are satisfied that they have all of the pertinent facts of a case, they will meet for settlement mediation prior to going to trial. The majority of personal injury cases in Texas settle, meaning they achieve resolutions without going to court.
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution where the parties will meet with an unbiased mediator to try to achieve a compromise and settle the case. The mediator helps facilitate conflict resolution but does not have the power to order a judgment. It is up to both parties whether or not to resolve the case via mediation.
A Personal Injury Trial
If mediation fails to resolve a personal injury case, the matter will go to court in San Antonio. A court trial is typically done before a judge and jury.
Attorneys from both sides of the case will:
- Give opening statements expressing what they wish to prove during the trial.
- Present evidence (including transcripts of depositions).
- Bring witnesses to testify on the stand.
- Give closing arguments.
Then, the jury will review everything it saw and heard during the trial to determine whether or not the plaintiff met his or her burden of proof. If so, the jury will rule in favor of the plaintiff and make the defendant pay a specific amount as a financial award.
When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in San Antonio
If you are being called upon for a deposition in a personal injury case in San Antonio, consult with a lawyer for assistance. An attorney can prepare you to be deposed and guide you through the steps following a deposition. You will not be left in the dark about what to expect during your specific claim if you hire a lawyer to represent you. To speak with an injury attorney in San Antonio for free today, contact Hill Law Firm 24/7.