What Is a Workers’ Compensation Deposition?
There is a lot involved in the workers’ compensation claims process. One of the integral parts of a workers’ compensation claim is the discovery phase. If a workers’ compensation case goes to an administrative hearing, discovery is necessary so each side can gather information about the side’s case before the hearing. This stage of the workers’ compensation claims process prevents parties from being surprised during the hearing. Typically, the discovery phase involves interrogations and depositions. In this article, we discuss what a deposition is, what happens during a deposition, and the kind of questions you can expect to be asked during a deposition.
What Is a Deposition?
In a workers’ compensation claim, a deposition is an injured employee’s, a doctor’s, a coworker’s, a supervisor’s, or another witness’s sworn, out-of-court testimony. Both the injured employee’s attorney and the insurance company’s or employer’s attorney can question witnesses under oath.
The most crucial and common deposition taken in a workers’ compensation case is that of the injured employee. Deposing an injured employee is the main way for the insurance company to learn about the employee’s injury and determine if the employee should receive workers’ compensation benefits.
The other common deposition in a workers’ compensation case is that of the physician who evaluated the injured employee for disability.
What Happens During a Deposition?
A workers’ compensation deposition can happen at a law firm or conference room. Depositions can also happen remotely.
During your deposition, the following are the people you can expect to be present;
- The insurance company’s or employer’s attorney
- The court reporter
- Your attorney (if you have one)
- An employer representative
The court reporter’s duty is to create a written transcript of the deposition.
While your workers’ compensation deposition will take place in an informal setting, you’ll be testifying under oath, the same way you would if you were in court. Therefore, you must answer every question honestly. You could be charged with perjury if you knowingly and intentionally lie under oath. Also, if you lie during your deposition, it will most likely adversely affect your claim.
What Kind of Questions Can You Expect To Be Asked During Your Deposition?
The insurance company’s or your employer’s attorney will ask you questions about, among others, the following topics;
- Background information: The opposing attorney will ask for your name, birth date, address, educational background, and work history. They may also want to know if you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim before.
- Previous injuries: You may be asked if you have any pre-existing injuries. It is vital to keep in mind that, according to Vermont law, having a pre-existing injury doesn’t automatically mean you are barred from recovering workers’ compensation benefits.
- How the injury happened: These questions may be limited since workers’ compensation is a no-fault system.
- Medical treatment since the injury: You’ll be asked to share details of the medical treatment you have received since you suffered your injury.
- Current limitations: The opposing attorney will want to know about any limitations you have because of your injury.
Contact a Vermont Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you have suffered a work-related injury, contact a Vermont workers’ compensation attorney at Sluka Law PLC for legal help.