Being involved in a court case is a hugely stressful endeavor. The last thing you need is to be deposed, asked endless questions and then wait months and months before hearing back regarding the case.
And this is before the trial has even begun. With depositions, the hope is that a settlement can be reached without even having to go to court and face full trial. So what happens after you have undergone a deposition?
And how long after the deposition is a case settled? In this article, we will look at how long a case is settled after a deposition has taken place. We will explain what a deposition is, how long the case is settled and why it is as long as it is.
Depositions are usually undergone in cases that involve civil court such as personal injury and are used to determine whether the party’s claim should be taken to trial or if a settlement can be agreed.
We’ll be looking at the statistics in this article on how many cases do actually settle before having to go to trial.
If someone has experienced a personal injury, they may be too frightened and intimidated to have to explain their side to a judge, especially when faced with an insurance company who is trained in exploiting someone’s vulnerability.
Having the party in a separate environment with the attorney is a safer environment, although there are tactics to watch out for such as intimidation techniques used by the lawyer. In these instances, take your time answering the questions and always answer with honesty.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is an out of court testimony taken under oath. It gives both parties an opportunity to observe what witnesses they have and the narrative that they are pushing.
The lawyers will ask questions of the witness which will then be transcribed and presented to the court.
Depositions take place before the trial so unless a huge confession or certain conclusion is drawn, the amount of time between a deposition taking place and the case being settled can vary greatly depending on what type of case it is, what kind of crime took place and the amount of evidence both parties are presenting.
As stated earlier, it is important to be completely honest when answering the question and take time to stay calm and think carefully about what you want to say. The amount of time you take to answer won’t be deliberated as it is the transcript involving what you say that is looked over.
What happens after a deposition?
After the deposition has taken place, both the prosecution and defense attorneys will receive transcripts of the witness’s testimony and review it carefully. After much deliberation, it will then be debated whether the case should be settled there and then.
If the attorneys feel as though more information is needed before drawing to a conclusion, they can request additional depositions and prepare more questions.
There are also instances in which the attorneys realize there may be other witnesses that have to be deposed before a settlement can be reached.
The attorneys will then read over the transcripts of the other witnesses to see if the narrative starts to become more solid and uncontested. They will then discuss whether a settlement can be reached with this new information taken into account.
How long after a deposition is a case settled?
Again, this is entirely dependent on the content of the witness testimony but sometimes it can be really quick, provided that there is concrete evidence that goes in the favor of the witness.
However, if no conclusion can be drawn from the testimony, it can take longer to reach a settlement. The average time for a simple case is six weeks but again, this is entirely dependent on the state and the nature of the case.
There is also the chance that a settlement isn’t reached at all, even after other witnesses are brought in to be deposed. In these instances, the case would unfortunately have to go to full trial and you will have to fight for your settlement in front of a judge.
Why does it take so long?
The reason it can take 6 weeks for even a simple case is because the two opposing parties have to come together to figure out if the case is completely conclusive.
Naturally, the opposing attorney will do everything they can to take the court to trial so between the witnesses and the attorney on your side, it’s important that all of the facts are brought forward honestly and coherently in a way that forms a clear narrative that cannot be contested in court.
By doing so, the opposing attorney will have to accept defeat and agree that the case should not be taken to court.
For more complex cases, the attorneys have to work to bring in more witnesses, see if there is any evidence that can conclude the case for either side and this can take time.
Court cases are naturally stressful and it’s not a nice position to be deposed, particularly if you are or you know the party involved but it’s crucial that the attorneys are allowed to take their time to go over the transcripts with a fine tooth comb.
As noted in this article, there is no guarantee that a case will settle, even if the narrative seems uncontestable but it is important to note that the majority of civil law suits such as personal injury cases do settle after the deposition stage without having to go to trial.
Statistics do vary state to state but the average does tend to be between 80% to 92% and some states even have a record of 97% of settlements before reaching trial.
This puts the chances of settlement very much in your favor which is another reason why it is so important for the attorneys to receive full honesty and be allowed to take their time going through all the information.
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