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Workmans Comp Deposition – What You Need to know

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury and are seeking worker’s compensation benefits, at some point in the process, you will likely have a deposition taken.

A deposition is a recorded, official statement where you answer questions under oath. Insurance companies will often depose injured employees during a workman’s compensation case, so it’s important to know how to prepare for one of these sessions.

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Should You Prepare?

If you’ve hired a lawyer, they will tell you everything you need to know about how to prepare for your deposition. In general, you should go over the case and refresh your memory about the incident, as well as any other things you may be asked about, such as:

  • Your medical history
  • Background information
  • How the accident affects you and your family
  • How the treatment is going if you’ve already started, etc.

There is no reason to fear a deposition necessarily, in some cases, it can make or break your case. The insurance company will want to know more about the event to see if they should deny your claim or approve it. It’s best to consult with an experienced workmans comp attorney if you haven’t already, as they can protect you from any inappropriate questions the insurance company may ask.

What the Process Looks Like

The deposition will likely take place in a conference room at a law firm, usually the insurance company’s lawyer’s office. Apart from you, and your lawyer, some other people may be present:

  • The lawyer taking your deposition
  • A court reporter, who will make a written transcript of your statements
  • An insurance adjuster

You will give the deposition under oath, even if you’re outside of court. This means you swear to answer all questions truthfully, to the best of your knowledge. If you lie, you will commit perjury, and that will hurt your claim.

What You Need to Remember

The most important thing in a deposition, apart from lying, is that you should never guess the answer. The lawyer may ask you something you don’t particularly remember, or don’t know at all, in which case you need to be honest and say you don’t know.

Guessing the answer can be just as damaging as lying. Remember, your deposition is integral to how your worker’s compensation claim will be finalized, and any inconsistencies in your story caused by guesswork can hurt the claim tremendously.

5 Tips for Your Deposition

The setting, the questions, the terminology, and the possible outcomes can all be intimidating for someone who is going through a workers’ compensation deposition for the first time. Here are five tips to make the process a little less daunting:

Ask For Clarification When You Don’t Completely Understand a Question

Questions may seem to be coming your way at a speed and with a level of complexity that you’re not used to. It can be difficult to keep up and easy to feel lost or confused. If this happens, don’t hesitate to ask the questioner to clarify or explain the question. There is no shame in admitting that you don’t understand something – chances are, the questioner will appreciate your willingness to engage and will be more patient in getting you up to speed.

Take Your Time Composing Your Answer and Saying It Out Loud

Again, the questions you’ll be answering are likely of a different nature than what you’re used to. You might be tempted to provide an answer without thinking it through, but resist that urge. Instead, take a moment to collect your thoughts before speaking. And when you do speak, say your answer out loud – this will help solidify your thoughts and will also give you practice in articulating them clearly.

Don’t Volunteer Information

Stick to answering the questions being asked, and resist the urge to add extra information or elaborate beyond what is necessary. For example, if you’re asked about your injuries, simply state the facts of your injuries and nothing more. If you start to share your opinion on how the accident happened or who was at fault, you may open yourself up to follow-up questions that you’re not prepared to answer.

Keep Your Composure

The deposition process can be stressful, even for someone whose job is to handle such things regularly. If you’re not careful, your emotions can easily get the best of you. Stay calm and collected throughout the process, even if things get heated. Losing your cool will only make the situation more difficult – for you and everyone else involved.

Ask for Breaks, if Necessary

Depositions can drag on for hours, and it can be mentally and emotionally draining to maintain focus. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask for a break. Taking a few minutes to collect yourself can make a world of difference regarding your ability to continue participating in the deposition process.

Speak With a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you haven’t done so yet, you should talk to a work injury lawyer about your case and your upcoming deposition. A lawyer can even run through a mock deposition to help you prepare for the real thing by anticipating the questions the other lawyer may have. Additionally, it can be very comforting to know that at least one person in the deposition room is completely on your side, ready to help you out.

Get FREE Legal Advice

Call today to speak with an experienced Missouri workers compensation attorney!

Call (816) 399-3706
Updated: November 15, 2022

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