When you seek workers’ compensation benefits for a workplace injury, you may have your deposition taken at some point. A deposition is a question and answer session about the facts of a legal case that is recorded by a court reporter. If this is your first time having your deposition taken, you may be nervous and wondering what to expect.
In workers’ compensation cases, the insurance companies’ attorneys often want to take injured workers’ depositions. If you have received a deposition notice, expect it to take place in a conference room or lawyer’s office, with an insurance company lawyer asking questions. Your attorney will come with you and protect your rights by helping you prepare and asserting objections to some of the questions.
During a typical deposition, the insurance company lawyer will ask you a series of questions about the following topics:
- Background information about you, such as name, contact information, education, and work history
- Prior injuries and pre-existing medical conditions
- How you got injured at work
- Medical treatment for your workplace injury, including doctor’s visits and medications
- Medical restrictions, limitations, return to work, benefits, and rehabilitation
The lawyer can ask you about other topics too, but workers’ comp depositions usually cover a limited range of subjects. While you answer questions, a court reporter will type a record of what you say. The court reporter gives you an oath at the beginning of the deposition, committing you to telling the truth during questioning. If you lie, the lie could be used against you later and hurt your case.
Workers’ compensation depositions tend to last for a few hours or a half-day, depending on how complicated your case is and how many questions the attorney asks. Be patient as you answer questions, and ask for breaks if needed. Also, listen to each question in full before you answer. The court reporter has trouble recording nods of the head and “uh-huhs”, so you will need to answer with words.
Your attorney can help you prepare further for the deposition, but be sure you do not share communications with your attorney during the questioning. These communications are protected by the attorney-client privilege. If you do not have an attorney and just received a deposition notice, you may want to retain someone who can help protect your rights.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.