The word "deposition" can seem complex, but it just means a legal meeting where testimony can be used at a later hearing. For some hurt workers, a deposition may be part of the process before they can be approved for a lump-sum settlement. This meeting may cause less stress and go smoother if you are prepared, so read on to find out more.
What Is a Workers' Compensation Deposition?
Depositions can be held during divorces, personal injury cases, criminal cases and more. In some cases, it's part of discovery, which prepares a case for trial. Workers' comp cases are not strictly legal cases, but depositions are a key to settling matters. This type of deposition may be necessary for complex cases, cases of permanent injuries, and when the facts of the case are in dispute.
What Happens at a Workers' Compensation Deposition?
Instead of a courtroom, depositions are often held in a law office conference room, and you can expect it to last a day or perhaps three days at the most. You won't be the only person testifying at the deposition – depending on your case, medical experts, vocation experts, and witnesses to your accident may be deposed. For your part, you will be prepared for your turn by your workers' compensation attorney. Things usually start off with general questions about your age, work experience, education, and more. You can expect to be asked about how the accident or occupational illness occurred, your medical treatments so far, and your current state of health. In some cases, your preexisting medical conditions are examined.
What Role Does the Deposition Play in Your Settlement?
The goal of a deposition varies from case to case. In some cases, the facts of the case are disputed by the workers' comp insurer and the deposition serves as preparation for a hearing before an administrative law judge. In other cases, the deposition is regarded as an information-gathering exercise when a settlement offer is in the offing. For example, if your workers' comp lawyer is unable to come to an agreement with the insurer about your settlement, the deposition is meant to bring certain facts to light. This may help both sides take a different view of potential settlements. For example, expert testimony may be solicited about the cost of future medical needs.
As soon as you know that you have a permanent injury or that your case is being disputed, speak to a workers' compensation attorney.
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