When an injured worker files for Workers’ Compensation, the insurance company may require a deposition. Although a deposition may seem like a stressful, overwhelming prospect, it can be very positive for the hurt employee. After all, a deposition puts testimony taken under oath into record, which can help a worker prove their need for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Many people who file choose to work with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer. When they do, the lawyer will help them prepare for the deposition, so they feel comfortable and confident with the process.
Before the deposition, the attorney will outline what to expect during the proceedings. Usually, they take place in a conference room with a few people present, such as lawyers and a court reporter, to capture the oral testimony. Most depositions do not involve grilling, despite what is portrayed on television and in films.
To plan for the deposition, the lawyer may prepare commonly asked questions for the client. These usually include background and identity questions at the start, such as the name of the worker, where the worker lives, the worker’s employment history, and medical information. The deposition will then get into more detail related to the specific injury. Workers may bring information with them into the deposition, so they do not have to memorize everything. However, they should practice making sure they remember important information; it can be easy to forget key facts, particularly after the accident happened.
Once at the deposition, the worker should follow a few simple rules. The first is to let the other lawyer ask the full question. Many people who are being deposed are nervous and try to anticipate every question. This only makes it difficult to get answers, as well as for the court reporter to catch everything being said. Also, if the employee has a lawyer present, the lawyer has time to object to questions if necessary.
Next, workers should be very honest and calm. Rather than guess or become agitated, they should reply that they are not sure if they cannot recall something. Depositions are taken under oath, so honesty is critical. A lie may cost the worker their benefits. Finally, the individual being deposed should not volunteer any new information or ideas. The goal is to answer inquiries, not give the other side more than they need. Many depositions take far too much time because workers keep talking.
After the deposition is over, the court reporter will create a transcript of the event to be sent to the worker afterward. If there are any discrepancies in the transcript, the worker or their lawyer can make changes.
If you were hurt at work, a Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. will help you through the Workers’ Compensation claims process and prepare you for your deposition. Call us today at 412-765-1888 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Pittsburgh, we represent clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Washington County, and Lawrence County.