When you file a worker's compensation claim, one of the things that the insurance company may request is that you take part in a deposition as part of the investigation. If you receive a notice that the insurance company requires a deposition, it's important for you to take some time to understand what's coming. You'll want to talk with your worker's compensation attorney about the process, but there are a few things that you should be sure to do.
Take Plenty of Time to Prepare
Rushing into a deposition is a sure way to find yourself flustered, confused and potentially rattled. You need to be sure that you have all of the relevant dates, details and supporting information before you go in. Take time to meet with your worker's compensation attorney to discuss the types of questions you can expect, and make sure that you have everything necessary to support the answers to those questions. You'll also want to discuss what information your attorney wants you to share freely as compared to what types of information should only be offered if directly asked about. For example, your attorney may suggest that you bring copies of all of your lab work and any x-rays or other evidence that supports your injuries.
You should also take time to share as much information as possible with the attorney about the accident, the situation that led up to it and anything you've done since. That way, you know that you've covered all of your bases legally. You want your attorney to fully understand exactly what has transpired so that he or she can protect you and help you understand how to address questions during the deposition process. In addition, this discussion helps you remember the entire event, which can often be overlooked as time passes between the incident and the legal proceedings.
Listen Carefully to Every Question
The questions you're asked during a deposition are part of the legal records for your claim. That means that you need to answer every question as best you can. To do that, you need to make sure that you're listening closely to the questions when they are asked and request clarification to anything that you don't understand. If you try to answer a question that isn't completely clear and you provide inaccurate information, it could put your settlement at risk.
Answer Everything Honestly
Every answer you give in a deposition is under oath, which means that you have to answer every question as honestly as possible. If you don't tell the truth in every answer, you may face charges for perjury. For that reason, it is essential that you also try to give answers that are as clear as possible, because any grey areas could call accuracy into question. If you cannot remember a precise date, time or detail, say that you don't know. It's honest, and it's safer than trying to guess and getting the wrong answer. The last thing you need is to have your credibility called into question, because that could cost you a settlement. In addition, you want to avoid offering more information than is asked for. Answer the question as completely as you can, but don't volunteer any more information than is required to give that answer. The more information you volunteer, the more information the insurance company has to potentially use against you. Your attorney can give you a good idea of what may be considered too much information based on your specific situation.
Worker's compensation depositions can be nerve-wracking, but this is your chance to tell your story in a less-restrictive environment than a courtroom. It is a great opportunity to share as much information as you can to support the settlement that you're asking for, and your worker's compensation attorney can help you do just that. For more tips, work with an experienced attorney from a firm like Hardee and Hardee LLP.