How long it takes to get a settlement after deposition will vary from case to case. It could be days, weeks, or months before you resolve your legal issue and negotiate fair payment for your losses. Continue reading to learn more about depositions and seeking compensation via a Atlanta personal injury lawsuit.
What Is a Deposition?
If another party’s negligent or wrongful actions hurt you or your loved one, you can seek compensation for your losses with a personal injury lawsuit. According to Georgia’s statute of limitations, outlined in O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you have two years from your injury to file your case in civil court. Once you do, it begins a legal process known as discovery.
During discovery, all parties named in the suit have the opportunity to conduct a formal investigation and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the other side’s case. A deposition is an essential element of discovery that involves calling and questioning witnesses to find out what they know and preserve their testimony.
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What Should You Expect to Happen During a Deposition
Taking part in an official proceeding can seem scary and intimidating, and you likely have questions about how a deposition works.
If you get deposed as part of your personal injury case, you should receive notice from the defendant’s lawyer at least 30 days prior. The deposition will likely occur at the attorney’s office or law firm, not in a courtroom. A judge will not attend or preside, but a court reporter will be there to swear you in and record your statements.
During the deposition, the attorney for the opposing party will likely ask you questions about the following:
- Your life and background
- Your injuries and medical treatment
- Your account of the accident
- How your accident and injuries have affected your life, finances, and ability to work
You will be under oath when deposed, so you must understand that making a false statement is perjury and could come with criminal penalties.
The amount of time your deposition takes will depend on various factors, including the complexity of your case, the number of questions asked, and the length of your answers. Sometimes, a deposition can last 30 minutes or less. Other times, it takes several days to depose a witness.
What Happens After You Get Deposed?
After your deposition, you will receive a copy of the court reporter’s transcription of the proceeding for your case records. From there, the discovery process will continue and could last up to six months or longer. During this time, you can continue to gather evidence related to your personal injury claim. Depending on your accident, this may include the following:
- Depositions from other witnesses
- Police reports or accident reports
- Photographs of your injuries and property damages
- Video footage of your accident
- Expert testimony
- Medical records
- Documentation of your financial losses, including bills, receipts, and estimates for future costs
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Will Your Deposition Lead to a Settlement?
Once discovery concludes, the parties involved in the case can begin negotiating a settlement agreement. Your lawyer will attempt to secure the maximum compensation possible for your personal injury, which may include the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical expenses, including emergency transportation, emergency department treatment, hospital fees, doctor’s bills, medical procedures, physical therapy, rehabilitation, medical devices and equipment, and extended nursing
- Lost income, including back pay, bonuses, overtime, and employment benefits
- Lost earning capacity if you suffered a severe or debilitating injury that affects your earning potential long-term
- Personal property damages, including motor vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Pain and suffering, including monetary awards for scarring, disfigurement, chronic or severe pain, loss of mobility, loss of a bodily function, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and reduced quality of life
- Compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death, including medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost income and future financial support, and loss of your family member’s care and companionship
Our legal team will communicate with involved parties on your behalf, review your initial settlement offers, and reject lowball payments. If the opposing party engages in bad-faith tactics, we will fight back and protect your rights.
The negotiation process can take time, and it could be weeks, months, or even longer after deposition to get a full and fair settlement. However, most cases do settle without a trial, though we will represent you before a judge or jury if necessary.
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Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
O.C.G.A. § 9-11-30 details deposition proceedings. Understanding the process can be complicated, and you do not want to accidentally say or do something that could hurt your case or delay your settlement.
A personal injury lawyer with our firm can prepare you for your deposition, tell you what to expect, and represent you throughout the process. We can also assist with the following:
- Investigating the cause of your accident, collecting evidence, and managing the discovery phase of your case
- Deposing witnesses on your behalf
- Hiring and consulting with crash reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and other relevant case experts
- Preparing and filing paperwork
- Tracking and adhering to deadlines
- Negotiating on your behalf
- Preparing your case for civil trial if needed
We help clients seek settlements for the following types of cases:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Property damage and diminished value claims
- Wrongful death
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability injuries
- Golf cart accidents
- ATV accidents
- Boating accidents
- Train accidents
- Product liability injuries
- Workers’ compensation
Contact Kaine Law for a Free Consultation
If you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, working with an attorney from our firm can help you navigate the legal process. Our team will work tirelessly to build and strengthen your claim for compensation and protect your rights, including representing you during a deposition and any other official proceedings.
Contact us to schedule a risk-free, no-cost consultation. We offer clients a no-fee guarantee. Our contract states that we only get paid if and when we obtain compensation for you. We serve clients in the greater Atlanta area and across Georgia. Connect with a lawyer near you today.