If you or your loved is injured in an accident or due to another’s fault, it can turn your life upside-down. You and your family are faced with mental and physical stress, along with financial difficulties that can accompany medical treatments. Faced with the process, you may be asking, Do personal injury cases settle after deposition in Brainerd, MN?
The good news is that you can file a personal injury lawsuit to hold the guilty party responsible for the injuries and damages they have caused. In a personal injury lawsuit in Minnesota, pain and suffering damages will be paid to the plaintiff as soon as the case is settled. The biggest question, however, every plaintiff tends to ask is, “Do personal injury cases settle after deposition in Brainerd, MN?”
The fact is, a personal injury case can be settled anytime during the legal proceedings. When your case will settle and how much you will get paid will depend on a few case-specific factors. These include how willing the insurance company is to pay you, how concrete your evidence is, and how your experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN thinks.
To answer your questions, let’s see what deposition is and whether your case will settle after or before it happens.
Personal Injury in Brainerd, Minnesota: Explained
In Brainerd, Minnesota, a personal injury case is a civil claim. That means an individual person or company can file a personal injury lawsuit.
When comparing civil and criminal convictions, it’s important to note that the latter may incur prison time. Losing a civil case doesn’t mean you go to jail.
Personal injury lawsuits involve the injury to one party due to an accident, such as after a car wreck, animal attack, or workplace incident. Defamation lawsuits are also considered personal injury lawsuits.
Personal Injury Case Statute of Limitations in Brainard, Minnesota
All jurisdictions set statutory limits on bringing a personal injury suit. In Minnesota, you have two years from the date you were injured to file suit. If you’re asking do personal injury cases settle after deposition, you first have to file suit. A good personal injury attorney in Brainerd can help you file a lawsuit with your local court.
How Minnesota Fault Laws Affect Personal Injury Cases
Your ability to bring a personal injury case to court further depends on comparative fault. In Minnesota, you can only bring a personal injury lawsuit if you were less than 50% responsible for the accident. And unless the other party is 100% responsible for the accident, your share of fault will factor into the settlement amount you can receive.
Here’s an example of comparative fault in action. Say you slip and fall at the local public pool, which causes you to break your leg. The pool failed to put up “no running” signs, and the lifeguard on duty wasn’t paying attention.
The court finds the pool to be 90% at fault. But, because it rules that you, an adult, should have known better than to run at a pool, you receive 10% comparative fault.
In this case, you can bring a lawsuit against the public pool. But the damages you can recover will be 10% less than if you were 0% at fault for slipping and falling.
Another quick note on fault laws in Brainerd: if you were injured in a car wreck, keep in mind that Minnesota is a no-fault state. No-fault states require injured people to get reimbursement from their insurance companies before bringing a case against the other driver. The only exception is if your accident-related medical expenses surpass $4000 and your accident-related disability lasts for 60 days or longer.
Damages a Personal Injury Attorney in Brainerd, MN Can Recover
Damages refer to the compensation Brainerd personal injury lawyers can win for an injured party in a personal injury lawsuit. In Minnesota, damages can be either compensatory or punitive.
Punitive damages are court-ordered payments meant to punish the party that caused the accident. A judge must order these payments, meaning Brainerd personal injury attorneys can only win these damages if the case goes to trial. Punitive damages are usually paid on top of the compensatory damages awarded as a personal injury settlement or during a trial.
Compensatory damages are meant to reimburse the injured party for losses incurred due to the accident. These damages can be economic or non-economic.
Economic compensatory damages repay the injured party’s medical bills, lost wages, and property loss, if applicable. Non-economic compensatory damages repay the injured party’s pain and suffering and/or loss of quality of life due to the accident.
Non-economic damages are much harder to prove than economic damages. This is because it’s hard to put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering. But with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, you can win non-economic damages without ever having to go to trial.
What Is a Deposition in Brainerd, MN?
Deposition is a critical stage in the discovery phase of a personal injury case, which usually happens after the case is filed, but before it goes to trial. In a deposition, attorneys from both parties ask questions to the witnesses, including you and the at-fault party, who are under oath. If you’re wondering do personal injury cases settle after deposition in Brainerd, it’s important to understand what a deposition is.
Although depositions are informal hearings, as the deponents (the people being deposed) are under oath, they are required to answer honestly. A court reporter is also present during the deposition to record everything that happens during the proceedings. As you can see, deposition is a critical part of the legal process because it establishes the facts and circumstances of your case.
To make sure you are not taken advantage of when being deposed, you need to have your own attorney to help you. Make sure to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN, who can help you share your side of the story on-the-record without any undue pressure.
Your attorney can also help you prepare for the deposition through role-play. And of course, they will also depose witnesses and the other party. The fundamental purpose of a deposition is to allow both parties and their lawyers to evaluate the strength of witness testimony, and how it will be perceived by the jury in the actual trial.
What Happens after a Deposition in Brainerd, MN?
Once the deposition is over, the next step is reviewing the transcripts. At this stage, both lawyers will go through the deposition transcripts carefully to determine their strength or weakness. If this research reveals that more witnesses need to be deposed, you or your opponent’s attorney will schedule the said depositions.
In most personal injury lawsuits, the defendant will also request the plaintiff to undergo a defense medical examination, usually after the deposition is completed. As the doctor for this examination will be chosen by the insurance company, the report they write is less likely to be unbiased. That’s why your attorney will also have your own physician to examine and write a more factual report to strengthen your case.
After the deposition and the medical exam, most personal injury cases will be settled through negotiations. If you’re asking do personal injury cases settle after deposition, yes, most do. If you agree with the offer presented by the opposition, you will get paid for the medical expenses, damages, and lost wages, depending on the circumstances of your case. In a rare event, when all attempts at the negotiations fail, the case will go to trial.
Why Will a Case Be Settled in Brainerd, MN after the Deposition?
Trials are often lengthy and costly for both parties. As a result, most people are willing to settle the case, if possible. Here are a few reasons why your case will be settled at this stage.
- If the defendant realizes that they are less likely to win when the case goes to trial and your demand is reasonable, they will be willing to settle.
- Sometimes, the opposition may have a strong case. However, your demand is less than the potential expense of going to trial, they are more likely to settle.
- In some cases, if both parties understand how expensive and time consuming a trial usually is, they may settle even if both have equally compelling evidence and arguments.
No matter how simple your case is, if you have an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN by your side, your chances of getting maximum compensation will be much better. So, make sure to choose your attorney carefully.
Why Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial After Deposition in Brainerd, MN?
The majority of Minnesota personal injury cases never make it to trial. However, there are some cases where you or the defendant might want to bring your case to court.
The most common reason a personal injury case goes to trial is if one or both parties are unhappy with the settlement amount. If the defendant thinks your personal injury attorney is asking for too much, their lawyer may push the case to trial. The same thing is true if your lawyer thinks the defendant’s side is shorting you on damages.
Of course, whether or not you should bring your case to court depends on the evidence. If there’s lots of evidence in your favor, you’ll be more likely to win outside of settlement negotiations and vice versa.
Personal injury lawsuits may go to court if you’re suing an insurance company that doesn’t want to set a precedent. Often, insurance companies fear that large settlements will encourage other customers to file similar suits in the future. In these cases, the insurer hopes a messy court battle will deter future cases like yours.
Finally, some rare personal injury lawsuits go to court for punitive damages. Only a judge can award punitive damages. Your lawyer may want to make an example of or hold a defendant accountable for negligence. In this case, they may want to go to trial to seek punitive damages.
Technically speaking, your personal injury case can settle at any time during the legal proceedings. In fact, most cases are settled out of court through amicable negotiations. Cases are likely to get settled after the deposition when both parties want to avoid a trial. A knowledgeable attorney can review your case in detail to determine possible compensation.
Hire the Most Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Brainerd, MN Today!
If you are injured in an accident and seeking compensation, you need representation. Carlson & Jones, P.A. will fight for you. Carlson & Jones are one of the leading personal injury attorneys in Brainerd, MN. We will leave no stone unturned to get you the compensation you deserve. You can call us at 855-762-6548 or contact us online through our website to see how we can help with your personal injury cases.
Originally published on November 7. 2020 and updated on September 7, 2021