Very shortly after you are injured and file a claim with your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier, you will probably get a call from the adjuster assigned to your file requesting a recorded statement of the events that led to your injury. Typically, they will want to get your version of how the accident happened, the type of injuries you sustained, and where on your body you felt pain. In addition to the aforementioned, they will also ask whether or not you have ever injured those same body parts or felt pain in those same areas, at any point in your life. The answers to these questions are absolutely crucial. They can dictate whether or not you will receive any benefits at all.
The Deposition for your Workers Compensation Case
Later in the life of your claim, you may be subpoenaed for a deposition. This is testimony, under oath, where the defense attorney will ask you a series of questions with a court reporter present, so that there is a record of the questions and answers. Typically, workers compensation depositions are all very similar, meaning that you will pretty much be asked the same questions every injured worker gets asked, no matter who is doing the asking. They will start with general background information regarding your education, living situation, and employment history before asking about the job at which you were injured and how the accident happened. After they get the information about the accident that is the subject matter of the deposition, they will ask whether or not you have ever been injured at any other job or filed any workers compensation claims in the past, and for what type of injuries. They will also ask if you have been involved in any motor vehicle accidents where you were injured and if so, what type of injuries. They will ask if you have ever been injured in a slip and fall, playing sports, while exercising, etc… They will certainly ask if you have ever injured the same body parts that you are claiming in your current workers compensation claim.
Tell the Truth
The best way to handle answering the questions is, of course, to be completely honest. In your deposition, you are under oath. You have sworn to tell the truth and anything less could be seen as perjury and cause your case to be denied based on fraud. Chances are, the defense attorney already knows the answers to the questions regarding past medical history and whether or not you have been involved in any other accidents of which a report was taken. Under the law, you give them access to your pertinent medical history as part of your claim. In addition to this, the insurance company will run what is called an ISO claims search. This is a report that will outline any and all accidents: work, car, etc… that you have been involved in. If they have run this report prior to your deposition, they know the answers and want to see how you will respond.
What You Say Matters
When being asked about prior accidents and or injuries, whether or not it is regarding the same body parts or unrelated body parts, be honest. If you have injured the body part being asked about, tell them. Unless you are absolutely sure that you have never injured the body part being asked about, tell them not that you can recall. The reason for this is that sometimes in the heat of the moment, we forget about a injury that happened years ago and we simply answer “no, never” not thinking about it. Rest assured, the insurance company will find it and use that “no, never” against you.
Workers Compensation Attorney
These situations can become extremely complex. The best course of action is to seek legal advise before doing either a recorded statement or deposition, especially. We take the time to make sure that you fully understand the types of questions that you will be asked, and how to answer them. We would love to discuss your case and explain all of your options to make sure that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to under the law. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please give us a call at (877) 8174127.