Posted on: 28 December 2017Share
If you've been hurt at work and are dealing with a permanent injury, you may be asked to participate in a deposition. While you are probably already stressed out about the whole experience, you should understand that undergoing a deposition (being deposed) is a routine event, and nothing to get alarmed about. Knowing what lies ahead can help you deal with matters, so read on for a quick and easy primer on how to handle being questioned at your workers' comp deposition.
Listen carefully and pause before you give your answer to a question: There are several benefits to taking things slow:
The attorney may not be finished and the answer to the question may not the same if you allow the attorney to finish speaking before you begin speaking.
The court reporter, who is recording the deposition, needs time to record any back and forth between you two.
Your attorney needs to time to object to a question before you begin answering it. Keep in eye contact with your attorney the entire time at the deposition and follow his or her lead.
Speak up and avoid head gestures: As mentioned above, your responses are being recorded and head nods and mumbles don't translate well to the written word. Speak in a medium loud, clear tone and give verbal responses only. For example, if asked which arm was injured say "my left arm" instead of pointing to it.
Avoid rambling or volunteering information: If the question can be answered with a simple "no" or "yes", then by all means, do so. Don't attempt to supply more information; that is not your role. If clarification is needed, the attorney (or your attorney) will clear things up with more questions.
Don't make guesses or speculate: Unless you are sure you fully understand the question, ask for clarification before you answer. You can ask for the question to be rephrased or repeated. Do not hesitate to answer a question with "I don't know" if you really don't know.
Don't allow the other side to violate your attorney-client privilege: What you and your attorney have discussed about your workers' comp case is entirely confidential and neither you or your attorney can ever be compelled to answer questions about it. The other side fully understands the rules, but may try to get you to testify about these matters anyway. Look to your attorney when in doubt about answering a question.
Stay calm and composed: Overall, you want to project an air of cool confidence. Be polite and friendly, and keep your nerves to yourself. You are not only giving a deposition, but also showing the other side what type of witness you will be if your case comes to trial.
Contact a legal firm, like DeSanto and Kellogg Law Office LLC , for more help.