When you file a claim for workers’ compensation, the insurance carrier may request a deposition as part of the process. During a deposition, an attorney asks you a series of questions about your workers’ comp claim. You provide honest answers under oath.The outcome of your claim could rely on your deposition testimony, so it’s important to know what to expect. Follow these tips for a successful deposition in a workers’ compensation claim.
Prepare in Advance for Your Workers’ Comp Deposition
Preparation can make a workers’ compensation deposition go more smoothly for everyone involved. Take time to review common questions so you can formulate your answers in advance. Prior preparation helps you remember important details even if you feel pressured during the deposition.
Common Workers’ Comp Deposition Questions
During a workers’ comp deposition, you could face the following questions:
- How did the workplace injury occur?
- What medical treatment have you received?
- What disabilities or limitations do you have because of your work injury?
- Do you have any prior injuries?
- Do you have any prior workers’ compensation claims?
They may also ask you for personal background information, including your name, contact details, date of birth, criminal history, work history, and education. Your workers’ compensation lawyer can help you prepare answers to these and other potential questions, so you feel confident during your deposition.
Answer Questions Concisely Without Extra Details
A workers’ comp deposition is usually conducted by the insurance provider’s attorney. They may look for details that could reduce your benefits or eliminate your eligibility. It is critical to keep your answers as simple as possible.Even if a question seems to need more explanation, give a concise reply. Don’t be afraid to merely say “yes” or “no.” You can also say you don’t know the answer to a question. Avoid guessing if you are unsure of an answer.
Let Your Attorney Guide You Through Clarifications
You may feel that some questions are misleading or lack nuance. Your workers’ comp lawyer can recognize the tactics the other attorney may use to undermine your claim. If a question is misleading, do not elaborate. Simply answer the question and let your attorney clarify at the end of the deposition. Your lawyer can ask any follow-up questions they believe will support your case once the other attorney has completed their questioning.
Listen to the Full Question Before You Respond
Allow the attorney to finish their question before you answer. This ensures you’re answering the correct question and gives you and your attorney the chance to object if the question is inappropriate.
Don’t Rush Your Answers
Take the time to address questions with clear, understandable responses. You may be flustered and feel pressured to speak quickly. Rather than rushing through, pause and reply thoughtfully to the question.
Be Honest and Straightforward
When you give a deposition, you answer questions under oath. It is critical that you provide only truthful answers. However, you don’t have to provide any private information that violates attorney-client privilege. If the attorney asks for confidential information, your attorney can object.
Remain Calm During Questioning
The questioning attorney may try to shake your composure to make you appear less credible. Try to remain calm and relaxed. You can take a break at any time, so don’t hesitate to ask for a moment if you feel your calm slipping.
Speak Clearly for the Court Reporter
A court reporter will be present at your deposition to type the proceedings as they occur. This creates an official record of the deposition to be used in court. Speaking clearly and slowly can make it easier for the reporter to correctly record the deposition.
Hire a Dependable Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Every state’s workers’ compensation policies are different, so it’s wise to hire a lawyer familiar with your state laws. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you prepare for your deposition, explain how to give concise answers and avoid oversharing, and provide a calming, stoic presence during the deposition itself. They can also protect you from questions that violate your legal rights, advocate for you when you need to rest, and ask follow-up questions to clarify your testimony.
Understand How Depositions Are Used in Workers’ Compensation Cases
To give a successful deposition, you must understand where a deposition fits within your case. Your deposition serves as a first-hand account of the accident or conditions that led to your workplace injury or illness. It provides a legal statement, under oath, that can substantiate your claim. A successful deposition gives important details that strengthen your credibility. Your goal is to maintain the validity of your claim. Your deposition may not be the only one taken for your workers’ comp claim. Some attorneys will seek depositions from witnesses, doctors, and medical experts. While an attorney is not required, it is ideal to have a lawyer present who can defend your legal rights during all depositions related to your claim.
Review the Deposition Transcript for Errors
Once the deposition is complete, you’ll receive a copy of the transcript for review. Make sure to review the deposition for mistakes and make corrections as needed. You can consult your attorney during this process. After you’ve approved the transcript, your attorney can conduct negotiations with the workers’ comp insurance company.
Return to the Negotiating Table
If your deposition was successful, the insurance company may be more willing to settle the claim in your favor. Although no outcome is guaranteed, your deposition could provide the additional insight necessary to bolster your credibility. Following the deposition, your attorney can conduct negotiations with the workers’ comp insurance carrier to seek a fair settlement for your losses.
KJT Law Group Can Help You Prepare For Your Workers’ Comp Deposition
Facing a workers’ comp deposition alone can be overwhelming. The attorneys at KJT Law Group have handled many workers’ compensation depositions in Los Angeles and throughout California. Contact our workers’ comp team online or call (818) 507-8525 to learn how we can help with your deposition preparations.