Except for your testimony at your hearing, your deposition is the most important part of your workers’ comp case.
It is the most important part of ”discovery,” which affords the defendant the chance to learn about you and your case.
Almost everyone who has been injured on the job has a natural urge to tell his or her story. Resist this urge. The time to tell your story will be at the hearing, when the judge is there to see you and hear you.
Your deposition will be taken in the defense lawyer’s office. He will ask you numerous questions. Your lawyer will also be there to protect you from unfair questions and to make any necessary objections.
A court reporter, who will record everything you say, will also be there. Your testimony will then be transcribed into a booklet.
This is probably the first opportunity that opposing counsel has to meet you. You will be judged by opposing counsel as to your honesty and demeanor. It is important that you make a good impression; therefore, you should dress appropriately.
The following will help you to do your best when testifying at your deposition:
Depositions are not conversations; they are legal proceedings. You are not there to make the other side understand your story. Be polite, but don’t make small talk. If there is no question pending, don’t say anything.
Do not help the defense attorney understand your case. Give him as little information as possible.
Think before you answer. Take your time. Make sure you understand the question. Do not tell the defense attorney what you think he wants to know — just address what he asks you.
Keep your answers short. When you give lengthy answers, you’re revealing too much information – and giving the defense attorney ideas for more questions.
Don’t guess. You might be wrong. If you do not know the answer, say you do not know. If you do not understand the question, say so.
Do not volunteer any information. If there is a silence, do not fill it with talk.
Do not get angry. Becoming angry sometimes will make you reveal too much information, and will send the message that you are not a good witness. The attorney for the other side will try to take advantage of that at the hearing.
Stop talking if your attorney objects.
If you follow these suggestions, your deposition should go well and not take too long. And your testimony at the hearing will be more persuasive.
It can be difficult to tell how to behave in a deposition, and when to contact an attorney. If you have a deposition coming up and need representation, contact the Law Office of Stephen L. Weiss today.