If you have filed for workers’ compensation benefits, it is quite likely you will be deposed by the lawyer working for your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider.
For many workers, a deposition is the first time they have ever experienced any type of official questioning. The terminology is all new, and the process itself sounds daunting.
If the idea of submitting to a deposition makes you anxious, learning more about the process and what to expect can put your mind at ease.
Your West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer can also explain how depositions work, which will give you confidence about the process.
Depositions for Workers Compensation Claims
Under Florida Statutes Section 440.30, a judge of compensation claims, any party, or any prospective party can depose the workers’ compensation claimant.
If you’re facing workers compensation deposition, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Ask Questions
The insurance company’s lawyer will ask you questions, and it’s very important to answer them thoroughly and truthfully.
Sometimes, people are afraid to ask for clarification when they don’t completely understand a question, either because they are worried about appearing unintelligent, or because they don’t want to frustrate the person asking the questions.
Remember that your answers can have a significant impact on your case and your workers’ compensation benefits.
If you don’t truly understand a question, ask the lawyer to rephrase it or further explain it. Don’t answer until you know exactly what the question means.
2. Take Your Time Answering
A deposition isn’t a race. There are no prizes for finishing quickly. In fact, it’s better to take your time before answering. It’s also a good idea to first compose your answer in your head.
Before you say your answer out loud, make sure you are happy with it. Also, allow the lawyer to completely finish the question before you answer.
3. Don’t Guess
If you aren’t absolutely certain about an answer, it’s perfectly okay to say you don’t know. In some cases, you may be asked for specific measurements, such as the height of a ladder or how far up on a building scaffolding went.
You may also be asked specific questions about time, such as what time your accident happened or how long it took for someone to summon help after your injury.
In these cases, ask your own lawyer whether it’s okay to give an estimate. If you feel comfortable giving an estimate, just make sure the lawyer deposing you understands you are not giving an exact number.
4. Be Polite
This is a tip that runs both ways. It’s important for you to be polite and respectful, but you also have a right to stand up for yourself if the insurance company’s lawyer becomes argumentative or rude.
Unfortunately, some lawyers use aggression as a pressure tactic. Don’t succumb to this strategy. An experienced lawyer will ensure you are treated fairly and with respect.
5. Take Breaks If You Need Them
Just as your deposition isn’t a race, it’s also not an endurance test. Many people have trouble concentrating when they are hungry or thirsty.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut discovered that even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood and affect their energy levels.
If you feel hungry, thirsty, or even fatigued, ask for reasonable breaks. If your physical condition permits, even a brief walk outside can restore your energy levels and help clear your head.
Call a West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have been injured on the job, you need a West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. Call today to schedule a consultation in your work-related injury case.