What Happens After a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?

What Happens After a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case

Depositions are part of the discovery phase of a trial, but what happens after a deposition in a personal injury case?

After a personal injury deposition, the plaintiff and defendant may negotiate a settlement. However, before meeting with the other side, you and your attorney should discuss what happened during questioning—what questions were asked and how your answers affected the case’s strengths or weaknesses.

Once you’ve discussed the deposition with your lawyer, there are two ways settlement negotiation could go:

  • If you and the other party come to an agreement about how much money is fair compensation for your accident-related injuries and losses, you will sign a settlement agreement that binds this party to pay these funds.
  • However, if the opposing party is unwilling to pay a satisfactory sum, the parties may agree to mediation or prepare for trial.

This article helps you prepare for what comes after a deposition in a personal injury case, helping you understand your next steps.

Quick Recap: What is a Deposition?

Depositions are part of the “discovery” phase of a trial—a process by which parties gather evidence from each other before going to court. During a deposition, an injured person is questioned by the attorney for the other side. These questions and answers are recorded either by a court reporter who transcribes everything that is said or by video. A court reporter will take down all the testimony at a deposition, then turn it into written transcripts that can be admitted and used as evidence during trial.

What Comes After Deposition?

After a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case

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. Reviewing the Deposition Transcript

One of the primary post-deposition activities is a detailed review of the deposition transcript. This document provides a verbatim account of the questions asked and the deponent’s responses.

The deponent and their attorney thoroughly analyze the deposition transcript to evaluate the effectiveness of the deponent’s testimony and will assess the clarity, consistency, and credibility of the responses given.

Once this assessment is complete, your attorney can identify areas of strength and areas that may require further clarification. Areas of strength are favorable facts and strong arguments that support the deponent’s position, while potential vulnerabilities or inconsistencies are areas that need to be addressed to strengthen the deponent’s position.

Both parties will now prepare for other phases of the lawsuit.

A Continuation of the Discovery Phase

After the deposition, both sides will continue with the discovery phase. During this part of a lawsuit, each party has an opportunity to collect evidence related to their case from opposing parties. Attorneys for both parties can communicate on behalf of their clients to exchange information or evidence.

Requesting further documents or information

Based on the facts, insights and revelations gained during the deposition, the deponent’s attorney may request further documents or information from the opposing party. This could include medical records, accident reports, or other evidence that may strengthen the case.

Deposing other witnesses

The deposition of the deponent is often just one part of the overall discovery process. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the post-deposition phase may involve deposing other witnesses who can provide relevant information or corroborate the deponent’s testimony. These depositions further contribute to building a comprehensive and persuasive case.


Both sides of a legal case will usually attempt to settle the dispute through mediation before going before a judge.

In mediation, the parties meet with a neutral third party (a mediator) to try to reach an agreement to end the dispute. The mediator helps parties resolve their disputes but cannot order a judgment in the case. It is up to both sides whether or not they want to use mediation to resolve conflict.

Your lawyers will evaluate the value of your case and guide you throughout mediation. If the other side does not make an appropriate offer, mediation allows negotiation in a less hostile setting than court proceedings would be.

A Personal Injury Trial

personal injury case deposition

If mediation is unsuccessful in settling a personal injury case, the matter goes to trial—a proceeding conducted before a judge and jury.

During the trial, attorneys from both parties will:

  • Provide an opening statement explaining what they’re aiming to prove during the trial.
  • Present evidence to the court (this will include deposition transcripts)
  • Bring witnesses to testify on the stand
  • Provide closing arguments

The jury will then review everything it saw or heard during the trial to determine whether the plaintiff has proven his claim. If that is the case, a jury will award the plaintiff a specific amount as compensation.

If your personal injury case goes to trial, you’ll want to know how to prepare.

Trial Preparation and Strategy

The deposition phase in a personal injury case often lays the groundwork for trial preparation and the development of effective strategies. Once the deposition is complete, several key considerations and actions are taken to shape the case for trial.

  • Building the Case

    After the deposition, attorneys and their legal teams gather and organize evidence to support their respective arguments. This may involve obtaining additional medical records, expert opinions, or other relevant documentation that strengthens their case.

    In some cases, attorneys may engage expert witnesses with specialized knowledge and expertise relevant to the case. These experts can provide professional opinions, scientific analyses, or technical evaluations that bolster the arguments’ strength. After the deposition, attorneys may consult these experts to refine their opinions and discuss potential trial strategies.

  • Evaluating the Deposition’s Impact on the Case

    Deposition transcripts are invaluable tools for evaluating witness credibility, so attorneys closely scrutinize and compare the deponent’s testimony to other evidence or witness statements. Inconsistencies, contradictions, or shifts in the deponent’s position can be identified and used to challenge their credibility during the trial.

  • Developing Trial Strategies

    Attorneys refine their trial strategies by identifying the most compelling arguments and themes that resonate with the judge and jury. They leverage the information obtained during the deposition to build a persuasive narrative supporting their client’s position and highlighting the opposing party’s weaknesses.

    The deposition provides valuable insights into how witnesses may testify during the trial, and attorneys use this information to craft effective examination and cross-examination questions that elicit favorable responses or expose weaknesses in the opposing party’s testimony. The deposition transcript serves as a roadmap for shaping the line of questioning and challenging the credibility of witnesses on the stand.

Post Deposition: What Happens Next?

The deposition is a pivotal milestone in a personal injury case, and its significance extends beyond the questioning.

The post-deposition phase serves as a launching pad for trial preparation, as it plays a vital role in shaping the trajectory of litigation, whether it leads to trial or settlement negotiations. Attorneys collect and organize evidence, consult with experts, and refine arguments and themes to present a compelling case in court.

Understanding what happens after a deposition empowers individuals involved in personal injury cases to make informed decisions and navigate the legal process effectively.

Remember, each personal injury case is unique, and the subsequent steps after deposition may vary depending on the specific circumstances. It is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the post-deposition phase of your case and advocate for your best interests. Contact us today for a FREE case review.


Q: How do you know if a deposition went well?

A: You know your deposition went well if you answered all the questions asked to the best of your ability and listed to the advice of your legal team. Your attorney is there to protect your interests in the case and object to questions you shouldn’t answer.

Q: Can a settlement be made at a deposition?

A: Yes, it’s common for a settlement to be reached during or after the deposition phase of a personal injury case. This is because the deposition sometimes serves as a test that tells the legal team what evidence the other side has to make or improve their case.

Q: What’s next after the deposition?

A: After the deposition, the parties involved will review the transcript and may use it to negotiate a settlement. If the parties cannot settle, the case will proceed to trial, where the deposition transcript can be used as evidence.

Q: How long does it take to get a settlement after a deposition?

A: The timing differs from case to case, but in most cases, your legal team may settle with the opposing party weeks or even months after the deposition. However, a deposition can also sometimes lead to a trial. All this depends on the individual case.