If you're filing a worker's compensation claim, you may find that the insurance company asks for a deposition during the investigation. If you are asked to give a deposition, it's essential that you're prepared and understand what's ahead. Your worker's compensation attorney can help you to prepare, but it's essential that you understand some of the most common mistakes made throughout the process. Here's a look at a few common mistakes that you should be aware of and avoid during the deposition process.
Mistake 1: Not Preparing Sufficiently
If you don't go into the deposition prepared to answer questions and support your information, you're going to face some struggles. Talk with your worker's compensation attorney about the questions that you can expect to answer and what information you should be volunteering. He or she will tell you what kind of information to share and what documentation you should have available. For example, you may need to bring copies of your medical records, including any lab work or images that may be relevant to the situation.
The more details you can volunteer for your attorney ahead of time, the better prepared he or she can be with information to help protect you from unfair questions and treatment. The preparation time will also give you the chance to work through some of your anxiety and stress before the interview. Sometimes, depositions happen well after the accident, so this time allows you to recall the details before you have to answer questions.
Mistake 2: Not Listening to Questions
A key part of a deposition is answering the questions that the insurance company and attorneys ask you. If you don't listen to the questions or you fail to ask for clarification of questions that you don't understand, you're likely to provide inaccurate information. Depending on the nature of the question, this could cost you a settlement simply because you weren't listening closely or didn't clarify something you didn't understand. Remember that every question you answer in a deposition is on the record, so it is essential that you know exactly what you are answering.
Mistake 3: Not Being Completely Honest
Remember that everything you say in a deposition is under oath. That means you're legally bound to tell the truth to the best of your ability. If you don't tell the truth when you answer the questions, you may face perjury charges.
Making an effort to give clear, honest responses to all of the questions you're asked is important. If there are questions you are concerned about answering, your worker's compensation attorney can help you address your concerns so that they are within the legal boundaries while still being honest.
Another part of the honesty is precision. You'll want to make sure that you answer questions as precisely as you can. If you aren't certain of the distance from you to a specific point when the injury occurred, be honest and say that you don't remember. Trying to estimate it may make you look like you're just looking for the right answer.
Finally, when it comes to honesty in the deposition, remember to only answer the question that's being asked. Don't offer more information than is necessary to sufficiently answer the question. Any information you volunteer can be considered by the insurance company, even if it harms your case. You can help preserve the integrity of the case by limiting all of your answers and information to the precise question at hand.
A worker's compensation deposition is your opportunity to share your side of the accident in question. This is also your opportunity to provide supporting information for your claim that may help you get the settlement you deserve. Work with an attorney to ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the process.
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