If the insurance company that's processing your workers compensation claim asks for a deposition as part of the process, you'll need to be sure you're prepared. Talk with a workers compensation attorney about the process and what you can expect. Understanding what you need to do in the period leading up to the deposition may help you avoid making some potentially costly mistakes. Here are a few things that you should be sure to do.
Take the Time to Prepare
Before you approach a deposition, you need to be sure that you have gathered all of the information that you need and have copies of all of your records, statements and other evidence. Get copies of all of your medical records from your doctor so that you can look for any potential issues that may come up in the meeting.
For example, if you have a pre-existing condition – even an unrelated one – you should be sure that you have information to show that it has no bearing on the case. These things may come up, so the more proactive you can be, the better.
Be Attentive and Listen Carefully
One of the biggest issues that can arise during a deposition is misunderstanding what has been asked of you. In order for you to properly answer the questions and participate in the discussion, you need to be sure that you understand what has been said. Be attentive throughout the process and ask questions to clarify any points that you aren't certain of. It's always best to clarify things ahead of time instead of making an assumption and answering something incorrectly during a recorded deposition.
Make Honesty a Priority
When you give a deposition, you're making a recorded statement under oath. This means that you have to be honest and clear about everything you say. Remember that lying under oath is perjury, and it is a crime. If you aren't sure about how to handle certain types of questions or there's something that you're concerned about, talk with your attorney about it before the deposition. If the insurance company catches you in a lie, you'll be facing charges for lying under oath and you'll lose your opportunity for compensation.
Avoid Generalizing Anything
One of the things that the insurance company is looking for through the deposition process is consistency. As a result, you'll want to make sure that you are as precise as possible when giving answers. Don't generalize or estimate timeframes, sizes, distances or other information. If you aren't certain about exactly how tall the obstacle was, don't estimate it. Instead, say that you are not certain.
If you guess at a size, weight, distance or other piece of information and the insurance company can prove you wrong, this may be enough for them to call your credibility into question. If they do this, it casts doubt on your entire claim. The best thing you can do is to focus on the information that you know is accurate and the things that you can prove.
Another part of this precision and specificity is to make sure that you're only answering the question that's asked of you. Don't offer any other information beyond what the question covers, because it isn't relevant to the question. Sometimes, saying something more than what's asked can result in volunteering information that they didn't have before and can use against you in the process.
Depositions give you a chance to clearly tell your side of the events in question and support your claim for benefits. With the information here and the help of a workers comp attorney, you'll be able to get through the deposition with ease.