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 worker’s compensation case, so it’s important to know how to prepare for one of these sessions.
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 workers 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.
Speak With a Missouri Workers Compensation Attorney
If you haven’t done it 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.
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