How To Survive A Workers Compensation Video Deposition

Posted on: 12 February 2016

If you have been injured at work and filed for workers compensation, you should a expect the employer's insurer to request a video deposition. A deposition is a video taped question and answer session taken under oath about your work injuries, which commonly occurs at the claimant's lawyer's office. It sounds nerve-wracking to answer questions under oath, but the following tips will help you prepare for the deposition.

Questions to Expect

Here are some questions you could expect:

  • Personal Details. This includes your full name, address, educational history, and family background. You could be asked about your current job situation, past employers, past claim filings, and the reasons you quit other jobs.
  • Accident Details. Be prepared to answer questions about how the accident occurred, the time, date, and other useful details. Review all of your treatment records, journal notes, or accident reports to refresh your memory. You may be asked more detailed questions about the injury, if it is progressive, such as carpal tunnel. and about previous injuries not related to the job injury. 
  • Medical and Psychological. Medical history will verify to the insurer you are telling the truth. This also includes mental health history, drug use, and marital issues, if you are making a claim for psychological damage.

How to Dress

Formal dress isn't required for depositions, but you still want to dress respectfully, because the tape may get played before a jury. Correct dress also makes a favorable impression on the judge. Think how you would dress dinner at a fine restaurant or a job interview.

  • Aim for conservative dress in solid dark or neutral colors with no loud patterns, bright colors, or sayings.
  • Wear minimal jewelry and makeup, and avoid wild hairstyles.
  • If you have tattoos, cover them with make-up concealers, dress jackets, or long-sleeves.
  • Leave cell phones in your vehicle or turned off. 

How to Answer the Questions

  • Before you go to the deposition, do some deep breathing exercises. Inhale slowly, hold five seconds, then gradually exhale for five seconds.
  • Answer all questions verbally, since a court reporter will be recording everything. Don't answer the question until you hear the full question, because the question could be different than you anticipate, and it gives your lawyer time to object. If you don't understand the question, it is acceptable to ask the employer's lawyer to repeat it.
  • Don't offer extra information. A long answer could hurt your case.
  • Never guess. If you don't know the answer, say," I don't know," but use it sparingly.  
  • Don't be afraid to ask for a break.

For more information, contact J W Chalkley III PA or a similar legal professional.