Workplace accidents happen when you least expect them. Luckily here in California, we have Workers’ Compensation. Workers' comp is supposed to provide five standard benefits: Medical care, Temporary disability benefits, Permanent disability benefits, Supplemental job displacement, and Death benefits.
The bad news is that we are in front of a broken system that is not always reliable. It is also a system you do not want to navigate alone or try to wing.
In some cases, some Workers’ Comp claims don’t always get accepted right off the bat. This happens even in cases where it is obvious the injury was in fact, work-related. Every time this happens, it leaves the injured worker with the necessity of finding a lawyer or disputing the negative decision.
During a Workers' Comp case, at some point, you will most likely have a deposition. When it is your time to do so, you’ll get a letter in the mail—also known as a Notice of Deposition.
Below, you will find the main points of Depositions that will help you prepare for your deposition.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is a formal, out-of-court procedure where the defense attorney and your attorney, along with the claim adjuster, question the issue. They are best described as question-and-answer sessions. Because of this, you have the right to have your own Workers' Compensation attorney represent you and your case at the deposition.
Think of your deposition like an interview. Here is when you get to tell your story about the injury, your treatment, and how it has affected your life. It is a crucial part of a case, and it provides an official record of what happened the day you were injured, what treatments you've undergone, what treatments are planned for your future, as well as other key facts.
Depositions are usually hearsay and are therefore inadmissible at trial.
However there are a few exceptions to the hearsay rule that are particularly relevant to deposition testimony.
The first is when a party admits something in a deposition that is against their interest.
The second is when a testimony at trial contradicts their deposition.
What to expect at a deposition?
Most of the time, depositions are recorded by a stenographer, although electronic recordings are increasingly common. It is important to know that at any deposition, all parties may question the injured worker. Lawyers cannot coach their clients' testimony, and the lawyers' ability to object to deposition questions is also limited.
Depositions can go for as long as 7 hours. The difference between a deposition and a casual conversation is that, in the first, you swear to tell the truth under penalty of perjury, which means that your testimony has the same force and effect as if you are testifying in court.
The primary use for a deposition is to cross-examine every case detail. You want to prepare yourself ahead of time to perform correctly.
There will also be a court reporter at the deposition. They will transcribe everything that the parties are saying. The entire conversation is then turned into a booklet which at some point also gives you a chance to review your testimony and make any changes if needed.
Defense attorneys think most injured workers lie about their cases when speaking to their doctors. So, they schedule a deposition to ensure that you are, in fact, telling the truth. Moreover, the deposition typically takes place in a law office, where there is no judge present.
A good Workers' Compensation lawyer will ensure you are prepared for the deposition, just as they would prepare any client in a more complex litigation matter. Keep in mind that all the information they gather during the deposition will be available and used throughout your Workers' Compensation process.
These are just a few of the considerations you should keep in mind when participating in a deposition. A deposition is a serious business, so you don't want to take it lightly. Hence, your attorney can and will provide additional information prior to your deposition date, which can make or mar your case.
Because depositions have a significant impact on your case outcome, it is strategic to understand what happens at a deposition and what to expect. An experienced lawyer can guide you better through this process and give you the company you need to feel safe.
Don't jeopardize your case and your well-being whatsoever. Let us help you prepare and set yourself up with a triumphant deposition. Our team of attorneys will look out for your and your family's best interests.
Talk to us for free at 800-606-6999 or make an appointment here.
Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers in Northern California's Premier Workers' Compensation Law Firm. Representing First Responders, Health Care Workers, Construction Workers, Delivery Workers, Warehouse Workers, and all the hard-working people that keep our community moving in their Fight for Justice against the Insurance Companies.
With over 250+ Five Star Reviews; an incredible staff of caring, well-trained, advanced technology for superior client communication: a track record of an over 98%-win rate, and giving back to our community through the Pacific Workers' Foundation, it is easy to see why Pacific Workers' is the go-to law firm for all injured workers in Northern California. Offices in Oakland, Concord, Stockton, Tracy, San Jose, and Sacramento.
If you or a loved one need help or just have a question, give us a call at 800-606-6999.