Facing a workers’ compensation deposition in Florida can be daunting, especially after experiencing a job-related injury. Typically, injured workers seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Understanding the deposition process – a key step where you’ll answer questions under oath about your injury and claim – is crucial.
Continue reading as a Fort Lauderdale workers’ comp attorney explains what to expect during a workers’ comp deposition in Florida. For guidance and help with your claim, consider reaching out to Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates at (866) 519-3831 for a free consultation. We are committed to going the extra mile in supporting your case.
Who Will Be Present at the Deposition?
- The deponent (injured worker)
- Attorneys for both parties: your attorney and the employer/insurance company’s attorney
- The court reporter, who will record everything said during the deposition
- Potential for a videographer if the deposition is being recorded visually
Preparation for the Deposition
Meet with Your Attorney in Advance to Review Facts of the Case
The best way to prepare for your deposition is to review the facts of your case with your attorney. Your attorney will go over the details of your accident or injury, your medical treatment, and the impact of your injury on your life. They will also review common questions that the insurance company’s attorney is likely to ask.
Anticipate Potential Questions
In addition to reviewing the facts of your case, it’s also important to practice answering common questions. You can do this by having your attorney conduct mock depositions with you. This will help you to become more comfortable answering questions under pressure.
Discuss How to Answer Questions Effectively and Honestly
Finally, it’s important to be honest and truthful during your deposition. The insurance company’s attorney will be looking for any inconsistencies in your testimony. If they find any, they will use them to try to discredit you.
During the Deposition
When you arrive for your deposition, you will be greeted by the court reporter and the attorneys. The court reporter will swear you in and then the attorneys will begin to question you.
It’s important to dress professionally and to be respectful of the attorneys and the court reporter. You should also listen carefully to the questions and answer them honestly and truthfully. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification. If you need to take a break, ask for one.
Common Questions Asked
Some of the most common questions asked during a workers’ comp deposition include:
- General information about you, such as your age, address, date of birth, work history, and education
- Illnesses and prior injuries, including work-related injuries and injuries that were caused by accidents or other incidents
- Details about your current job, including your job title, job description, salary, schedule, hours, and benefits
- How the accident or injury happened
- What medical treatment you have received
- How your injury has impacted your life
Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Workers’ Comp Deposition
- Not being prepared. The best way to avoid making mistakes during your deposition is to be prepared. Review the facts of your case with your attorney and practice answering common questions.
- Lying or being dishonest. It’s imperative to be honest and truthful during your deposition. If you are caught lying, it will damage your credibility and could jeopardize your case.
- Not understanding the questions. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification. Don’t speculate or guess.
- Volunteering too much information. You only need to answer the questions that are asked of you. Don’t volunteer any additional information that could be used against you.
- Not taking breaks. If you need to take a break, ask for one. Don’t try to power through the deposition if you are tired or stressed.
You can read more about common mistakes in our recent blog here.
Handling Difficult Questions
The insurance company’s attorney may try to ask you difficult or leading questions. If you are asked a difficult question, stay calm and collected. Don’t speculate or guess. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification. If you need to take a break, ask for one.
It’s also important to remember that you have the right to refuse to answer any question that you believe is irrelevant or that could jeopardize your case. If you are unsure about whether or not to answer a question, consult with your attorney.
After the Deposition
After your deposition is over, you will be given a chance to review and sign the transcript. Be sure to read the transcript carefully and to make any necessary corrections.
If you have any concerns about the deposition process, talk to your attorney. They can help you to understand your rights and to prepare for your deposition.
Potential Outcomes Post-Deposition
After your deposition is over, there are a few possible outcomes:
- The insurance company may decide to settle your claim. This is the most common outcome, especially if your deposition went well.
- The insurance company may deny your claim. If this happens, your attorney will likely file a petition with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. A judge will then review your case and decide whether or not you are entitled to benefits.
- The insurance company may offer you a partial settlement. This means that they will offer you a certain amount of money, but they will still deny your claim for other benefits, such as medical care or lost wages. If you are offered a partial settlement, you should talk to your attorney about whether or not to accept it.
If your case goes to a hearing, the judge will review all of the evidence, including your deposition transcript, and make a decision about your case. If the judge rules in your favor, you will be awarded benefits. If the judge rules against you, you may be able to appeal the decision.
Going through deposition in Florida can be a daunting experience, especially for someone who is already dealing with an injury. However, with the right preparation and guidance from experienced Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation lawyers, injured Florida workers can navigate the process and come out with the best possible outcome.
Understanding what to expect during a deposition, knowing how to answer the lawyers’ questions, and having an attorney present to protect your rights can make a huge difference in the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim.
Checklist for Preparing for Your Workers’ Comp Deposition
Preparing for a workers’ comp deposition can feel overwhelming. This checklist is designed to help you organize and feel confident as you approach your deposition day. Each step is crucial in ensuring you present your case accurately and effectively.
- Understand the Process:
- Learn about the deposition procedure and what to expect
- Familiarize yourself with common legal terms you might hear
- Gather all relevant documents, including medical records, incident reports, and any correspondence related to your case
- Review these documents to refresh your memory of dates, details, and treatment specifics
- Schedule a meeting with your attorney to discuss the specifics of your case
- Understand the main points your attorney intends to make
- Participate in mock depositions to practice answering questions
- Focus on answering clearly, truthfully, and without speculation
- Prepare emotionally for the deposition, recognizing that some questions may feel invasive or stressful
- Develop strategies with your attorney for maintaining composure under pressure
Day Before the Deposition
- Review Key Points:
- Go over any difficult areas or tricky questions with your attorney
- Review the facts of your case and the key points you need to convey
- Confirm the time, location, and any virtual meeting links for the deposition
- Plan your travel route and time, considering traffic and parking
- Select a professional and comfortable outfit
- Prepare a bag with essentials (water, snacks, any necessary medication)
On the Day of Deposition
- Arrive Early:
- Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early to settle in and meet with your attorney
- Discuss any last-minute concerns or questions with your attorney
- Stay calm and focused.
- Remind yourself to listen to each question carefully and pause before answering.
- Answer questions honestly and to the point
- If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification
- Avoid volunteering extra information – stick to answering the question asked
- Remember it’s okay to say you don’t remember or don’t know when that’s the case
- Review of Transcript:
- Request a copy of the deposition transcript
- Review the transcript for any inaccuracies or clarifications needed
- Discuss the deposition with your attorney, including how it might impact your case
- Plan next steps based on the deposition outcome
- Recognize that depositions can be mentally exhausting. Take time to rest and recharge
We hope this checklist provides you with a clear roadmap, ensuring you’re thoroughly prepared for your workers’ comp deposition. Each step is an integral part of building a strong case and representing your best interests effectively.
Don’t Let the Insurance Company Bully You: Protect Your Rights in a Workers’ Comp Deposition
If you’ve been injured on the job, you know that dealing with the insurance company can be a nightmare. They’ll often try to lowball you on a settlement or deny your claim altogether. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
At Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, we know how to protect your rights and ensure you get the benefits you’re entitled to receive. We’ll help you prepare for your deposition and make sure you’re not bullied by the insurance company.
Call us today at (866) 519-3831 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation, or connect with us through our online form. Let us go the extra mile for you, ensuring you receive the benefits and peace of mind you need to focus on your recovery.
Copyright © 2023. Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.