If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company will organize a deposition before your case settles or goes to trial. The deposition gives the insurance company the opportunity to know more about your case. The following are some of the tips you should use for a successful deposition.
Bring All Relevant Documents
A deposition is a questions-and-answers session. Since you can’t possibly remember everything about your accident and treatment, you should carry the relevant documents that can jog your memory. For example, carry your medical records, drug prescriptions, and even a list of doctors you have seen. In short, if a document relates to your injury and treatment, bring it.
Budget for Adequate Time
Although a deposition can take as little as half an hour, it can also take several hours. Depositions for serious injuries and cases with controversies tend to take a long time. For example, if the other side thinks that your injuries didn’t occur in the workplace, your deposition may take a longer time than if the opposing side believes your claims.
Add the deposition time to the preparation time you will take with your lawyer, and you understand the need to budget for adequate time for the deposition. Don’t schedule other important appointments around the deposition time.
Don’t Lie to Your Attorney
One of the worst things you can do to your case is to lie to your attorney. Your attorney needs to know everything about your case, even the negative things that can hurt your case so that they can prepare you for the deposition. Otherwise, the other side may find out about the lawyer and ask you a question for which you are not prepared. Tell your lawyer everything.
Don’t Volunteer Information
Although you should give honest answers during the deposition, you shouldn’t volunteer any information. Don’t forget that the other team is there to get the ammunition they can use against you. Answer the questions since that is what the law expects you to do, but don’t volunteer anything. For example, don’t talk about your decade-old injury if no one asks you about it.
Don’t Guess Answers
Stick to factual and accurate answers during the deposition. If you don’t know something, say so, and the court reporter will record your answer as such. You can also refer to the documents you carried for accuracy. For example, you should not guess that you will be out of work for a month if you are not sure of the duration; say you don’t know.
Don’t Talk Over Another Party
A court reporter will be present in your deposition to record the questions and answers. The court reporter needs time to listen to both of you and type your conversation verbatim. The reporter won’t do their work efficiently and may record errors if more than one person speaks at the same time. Give the other party time to speak, and only speak up when it’s your turn.
Don’t Share Privileged Information
The law protects the information you may share with your lawyer as privileged information. Other third parties don’t have the legal right to access such information, so don’t share the information (unless you have the go-ahead from your lawyer). For example, if you discussed how much you would take to settle the case, don’t give the information during deposition.
Your lawyer will prepare you for the deposition; follow the lawyer’s advice to the letter, and nothing will go wrong. Contact our legal team at Stafford, Neal & Soule, S.C., to get help with your workers’ compensation claim so you can get the compensation you deserve.