If you are filing for workers’ compensation in Minnesota, a court hearing may be in order somewhere in your claim process. However, not all worker compensation claims in the state are settled within the four walls of a courtroom.
More frequently, workers’ compensation claims or any disputes that arise herewith can warrant something else. In the state, worker’s comp deposition is another way to settle disputes about benefits and the eligibility for workers’ compensation.
A deposition is smaller in its attendance and venue. Other than yourself, other parties involved in your claim are present — no more, no less. Like in a courtroom hearing, you go about your workers’ compensation deposition under oath and in the presence of a judge and legal counsel.
A workers’ compensation deposition involves procedures all geared towards the lawful and amicable settlement of your claim.
To learn more about what workers’ compensation deposition is in Minnesota, keep reading.
Workers’ Comp Deposition In a Nutshell
A workers’ compensation deposition is a type of legal proceeding aimed at the settlement of workers’ compensation claims. It follows a similar format as a courtroom trial. There is a judge who adjudicates or mediates the proceeding. Also present is legal counsel — both for your employer’s insurance provider and yourself.
The goal of a workers’ comp deposition is a bit different from that of a workers’ compensation trial or hearing.
During a work compensation trial or hearing, the focal point of proceedings is to determine liability. Since Minnesota is a no-fault state, trials or hearings have the goal of settling disputes in claims. In particular, hearings in the state endeavor at the lawful settlement of claims and awards for the injured party (you).
A workers’ compensation deposition has the same goal towards the very end. Although, unlike a hearing, a deposition aims to clarify the details of your claim to your employer and the insurance provider.
Hence, the details pertinent to a deposition include everything surrounding your work compensation claim. These often are:
- Your personal or background information
- Your employment history with your company or employers
- The details of your incident
- The details of your injury
- Your medical or injury history
- Medical treatment you have received
- Any limitations you still as a result of your injury
“What Kinds Of Questions Can I Expect During A Deposition?”
The deposition follows a question-and-answer format. The exchanges that occur within the deposition are recorded. The record will serve as evidence for your workers comp case and compensation claim.
Depending on what the insurance provider’s attorney wishes to establish, certain questions will be asked. The main purpose of the insurance provider in the deposition is to prove that you are not eligible for a claim or that you are not entitled to certain benefits.
For this reason, the insurance provider’s attorney may ask the following:
Questions About You
Questions about you and other background information serve as a formality. Verifying identity and history, these questions aim to establish that the deposition is for the claim of the right person.
Questions About Past Claims
The attorney representing your employer’s insurance provider will also ask about past claims you may have made. An extensive history of claims can be an area of concern for all parties involved.
Questions About Events Leading Up To The Injury
To be eligible for workers’ compensation in Minnesota, it has to be proven that your injuries were the result of your occupation. If you sustain injuries as a result of activities outside your shift or duties, you will not be eligible for a claim.
Questions about what you were doing prior to your injury aim to establish the link between:
- Your injuries
- Your job
The insurance provider’s attorney will try to prove that you were injured as a result of activities that had nothing to do with your occupation. This is something of which you may want to be aware. To build a non-eligibility case against you, the attorney opposite you may also ask about your medical history.
Questions Pertaining To Your Past Injuries and Medical History
A work injury in Minnesota is defined as a work-related incident that causes an injury, resulting in physical or cognitive impairment. Invoking the state’s definition, the opposing attorney will ask you questions about other injuries you may have had before you worked for your employer.
The insurance provider’s attorney does this to point out that past injuries, and not your job, were to blame for the current injury. Having an attorney for this instance is crucial. Your attorney can point out other definitions of what constitutes a work-related injury outside of the commonly invoked one.
Questions About Medical Treatment
In many cases, you may be called for a deposition while you are receiving medical care for your injuries. When asked about your treatment and rehabilitation, you need to provide a detailed timeline of the therapy you received.
“What Happens After The Deposition?”
One of two scenarios can be the result of your workers’ compensation deposition:
On the one hand, the results of the legal proceedings will prove your lack of eligibility for compensation or some of its entitlements or benefits. This will occur once the judge decides that your injury was not the result of your occupation.
On the other hand, you with your attorney will be able to prove that you are entitled to compensation. By showing how your work activities led to or aggravated your injury, the judge can rule in favor of your receipt of benefits.
Either way, the results of the deposition will be recorded. The records, written or taped, can act as evidence for future reference or as additional documentation for your workers’ compensation claim.
“Do I Need To Have My Own Attorney For A Deposition?”
Having your own attorney is crucial for your work compensation deposition. Your attorney can do more than invoke current Minnesota statutes to build up your case. He or she can:
- Help you prepare for the proceedings
- Ensure that legal process is followed
- Brief you on the deposition process
- Dispute unrelated questions or questions that go against the rules of depositions in the state
- Interpret confusing questions should any arise
The most important reason for having your own lawyer for your deposition is the interest of the insurance company. The attorney for your employer’s insurance company has the interests of the provider in mind. The insurance provider, in turn, works primarily for the interests of your employer.
With that in mind, a conflict of interest arises, and you may not be represented to the best degree. For this reason, you will be better off selecting a lawyer that will represent you fully and act as your advocate.
Call Osterbauer Law For Legal Representation You Can Count On!
A workers’ compensation deposition aims to clarify the details of your injury and claim. To win your deposition and receive full benefits, you need a workers’ compensation attorney in Minnesota that will argue rigorously for your case.
Call us now at Osterbauer Law if you need legal representation for your workers’ compensation deposition!