Depositions and the Settlement Process-Personal Injury Litigation
Insurance companies know that jury verdicts, even for legitimate and substantial accident injury claims, are often much lower than they used to be. Thus, the insurance companies almost never offer full value until you have proven to them that they really have no other choice. That means having many aspects of your seemingly private life explored by means of subpoenaed documents.
It may also mean submitting yourself to a deposition under oath during which an insurance defense lawyer will ask you all about the accident, your injuries, and many other things that seem to be unrelated to your claim. If the case is not settled at this point, it will probably be several more months before further negotiations take place.
At the deposition, the insurance company’s lawyer questions you under oath about the accident and your injuries. This is the first chance for the insurance company to evaluate you in person. How you present yourself at your deposition dramatically affects the settlement negotiations. If you have been properly prepared for the deposition by your attorney, it is very likely that the company will extend an increased settlement offer shortly afterwards.