If you’re called for a deposition, it will probably take place at the offices of the lawyer for the workers' comp insurance company. You will sit at a conference table, and a court reporter will “swear” you in by asking you to take an oath to tell the truth. The insurance company’s lawyer will then ask you a variety of questions about your injuries, medical treatment, work history, and other activities.
If you have a lawyer, he or she will be present to preserve your legal rights and make sure that no inappropriate questions are asked. (Most questions are fair game, but the lawyer shouldn’t delve into personal issues that are unrelated to the case). The court reporter will transcribe everything that is said and then prepare a written transcript, which will serve as evidence in your cases.
How Long Will My Deposition Take
Depositions usually take at least a couple of hours. However, if you have extensive injuries or a long history of treatment, it may take longer. In most cases, though, your deposition shouldn’t take more than a regular eight-hour business day.
In most cases, the insurance company can only take your deposition once. However, if you make an entirely new claim (for example, that you also suffered psychological injuries), the insurance company may get a second opportunity to question you.
What Kinds of Questions Will I Be Asked?
The lawyer will probably begin by asking you to state your name and answer some preliminary questions about your background. For example, the lawyer may ask where you live, what schools you attended, and where you’ve worked in the past.
The lawyer will then get into how your injuries came about. If you were injured in a one-time accident, such as a slip and fall, this portion of the deposition may be relatively brief. However, if you have an occupational disease or repetitive motion injury (such as carpal tunnel), this line of questioning may take more time.
You will also be asked about your course of medical treatment and any physical limitations that you still have. For example, the lawyer may ask whether you received emergency treatment, what doctors you have treated with, whether you have any work restrictions, and what hobbies or other activities you are unable to participate in.
Although it may not be obvious, the lawyer will likely also ask questions to undermine your case. In particular, the lawyer may ask detailed questions about your work duties at previous jobs and any sports or other physical hobbies that you have participated in. The intention is to find some other cause of your injuries, so that your benefits can be denied.
Do I Need a Workers' Comp Lawyer?
If the insurance company is taking your deposition, it probably has some doubts about your claim. While a deposition may feel relatively informal, you are testifying under oath, and the written record will become evidence in your case. Most workers’ comp defense lawyers (the kind that work for insurance companies) are well trained in how to frame questions so that your answers support the insurance company’s defenses to your claim. Hiring a workers' comp applicants lawyer (the kind who works for injured workers) who knows the rules and is similarly trained will level the playing field.
In particular, if you have made a workers' comp claim for a psychological injury, a workers' comp attorney is especially helpful, as the questioning can get quite personal. Your attorney will be able to tell you which questions you have to answer and which questions you don't.
Contact Our Law Offices of John Morrison
To get started, call our firm, the Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC, and speak to a member of our legal team. You can use our contact form on our website www.johnmorrisonlaw.com, or call 770-951-8900 and schedule a free case evaluation.