What happens after a deposition in a medical malpractice case?


Quick Answer

After depositions in a medical malpractice case, the attorneys discuss a settlement and may agree to mediation. If an agreement is not reached, the case goes to trial and is decided by a judge, advises Nolo.

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Full Answer

Depositions, or witness statements made under oath, are a part of the discovery process. Depositions are an opportunity for the opposing attorney to interview the doctor or patient and determine if he is a good witness and if his story is consistent and coincides with other evidence, states Nolo. During discovery, attorneys may also request documents and send interrogations, or questions, to the opposing party before moving forward with the case.

Based on the depositions and other evidence collected during discovery, attorneys may agree to a settlement. In some cases, a mediator may be called in to meet with the attorneys, patient and medical provider to help negotiate a resolution to the case, Nolo explains.

If both sides cannot reach an agreement, a trial is scheduled. The case may be decided by a jury in the case of patient injury or by a judge if the case involves federal health care facilities, notes the University of Washington. During the trial, both parties make opening statements, question witnesses and present closing arguments before the case is decided.

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