At some point in the process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits, you may have to face a workers’ comp deposition. This is where witnesses answer various questions under oath in a recorded session.
Many insurance companies often depose injured employees as a matter of routine. This means you will most likely have to testify at a deposition if you are seeking compensation after an illness or an injury.
We know that the thought of getting grilled by an insurance lawyer probably makes stomach hurt. But at Steve Dewberry Law Offices, we can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process. We can also prepare you if you do get deposed. To learn more, speak to a Pasadena CA workers’ comp attorney today.
What Should I Do Before a Deposition?
An experienced attorney can assist you in getting ready for a deposition. It is important to review any notes and personal records about the accident, any injuries or illnesses, and when you missed work.
Most depositions take place in a more casual atmosphere. For example, it may be conducted in the conference room at the law firm your insurance company is working with.
Who attends the deposition? Typically, it will be you, your lawyer, another attorney who will be carrying out the deposition, and a court reporter who will create a transcript of the proceedings for court.
While the entire workers’ comp deposition process is carried out in a more relaxed setting, all of your answers and testimony are under oath. You must answer each question to the best of your ability and remain truthful.
Deliberate lies could open yourself up to perjury charges and will certainly impact your workers compensation case.
What Types of Deposition Questions Can I Expect?
Questions often cover a variety of subject areas, including
- Background Details: The start of a workers’ comp deposition includes basic questions about your name, birthday, address, and background. They may ask you about your work history and any criminal activity. They may also want to know if you have filed other workers’ compensation claims in the past. These types of questions help lawyers and the insurance company get an overview of the circumstances surrounding the claim.
- Previous Injuries: Questions might also cover past injuries or any previous accidents. The lawyer carrying out the deposition will try to determine if it was activity at work that led to the injury. They will also try to see if there were other circumstances the might have led to your current medical conditions. Even if this is the case, it does not automatically prevent you from claiming workers’ compensation for a current illness or injury.
- Medial History: The lawyer conducting the deposition will ask about any medical treatments for the injury or illness that was related to work. This could include doctors’ visits, physical therapy, and any other procedures. Taking time to review medical information before a deposition can go a long way towards being prepared.
- Limitations: Aside from medical treatments, the lawyer will also ask about any physical or mental limitations due to injury. This could include an inability to carry heavy items, work with certain machinery, or not being able to sit or stand for certain periods of time. These types of questions are important since limitations could make your eligible to receive compensation for permanent disability.
How Should I Answer Deposition Questions?
It is important to answer questions properly if you want to present a good case during a workers’ comp deposition.
One vital step is to speak clearly and slowly so the court reporter can accurately type everything down. Pausing for a moment before answering also gives your attorney (if one is present) an opportunity to jump in and object a question before an answer.
It is also prudent to stay away from guessing and keep responses succinct. Feel free to ask the lawyer to clarify if something confuses you. Always try to answer only the question you have been asked. Your lawyer will have a chance to work through any issues at the end of the deposition.
Once the deposition is finished, you will be given a written transcript of the proceedings and an opportunity to make corrections.
An Experienced Pasadena CA Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You With Your Workers’ Comp Deposition
At Steve Dewberry Law Offices, we can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process. Our Pasadena CA attorneys can also guide you through a workers’ comp deposition. Contact us today for a case evaluation.