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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    2

    Default How Do I Prepare for a Workers Comp Deposition

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: Tennessee

    I expecting to have my deposition in late April 2012. It has been 3 and 1/2 years now. Yes I have a lawyer, but I am interested in additional and more extensive advice and suggestions especially from experienced/qualified persons. My lawyer is only paid upon victory in court, so they aren't as good as they might have been. Also please do not tell me it is a simple matter of telling the truth. If being in the right or being honest was enough, sites like this wouldn't be necessary. I am not that naive. The opposing counsel does not have my best interest in mind, is seeking ways to trap and discredit me, and don't have the best reputation for honorable conduct. These 3 years have made me depressed, bitter, and despairing.

    All that aside.......What can I expect? How do I prepare for this? Please give me extensive and detailed suggestions. Thank you ahead of time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
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    3,190

    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    GUIDELINES FOR GIVING YOUR DEPOSITION

    WHAT IS A DEPOSITION?
    A deposition is your testimony under oath. You will be asked questions by the opposing
    and your answer will be recorded by an official court reporter. There is little difference
    between testimony at a deposition and testimony in the courtroom except there is no judge
    presiding. Rulings over inadmissible matters will be made by the judge at the time of the
    trial, not on the taking of the deposition.

    PURPOSE OF A DEPOSITION
    Opposing counsel is taking your deposition for four reasons:
    1 . They want to find out what facts you have in your actual knowledge and possession
    regarding the issues in your lawsuit. They are interested in what your story is now
    and what it is going to be at the trial.
    2. They want you to testify to a specific story so that you will have to tell the same story
    at the trial and they will know in advance what your story is going to be.
    3. Your testimony given in a deposition may be read at trial. They hope to catch you
    in a lie or omission because if they were to do so, they can claim at the trial that you
    are not a truthful person and, therefore, your testimony should not be believed on
    any of the points, particularly the crucial ones.
    4. A deposition may be used to narrow the issues in your case. Stipulations of fact and
    other agreements may be made during the course of the deposition which may
    substantially shorten the trial.
    All of the above are very legitimate purposes and opposing counsel has every right to take
    your deposition for these purposes and in this fashion.
    If there are some issues about your case that you consider worrisome, those matters
    should be specifically discussed with your attorney before the start of the deposition.

    SUGGESTIONS FOR PREPARATION
    The following are suggestions to help you prepare to give you deposition. Please study
    these suggestions carefully:
    1. ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH when giving your deposition. Failure to tell the truth
    in a deposition constitutes perjury. You may assume that the attorney questioning you
    has the ability to make anyone who is playing fast and loose with the truth very uncomfortable.
    2. LISTEN TO THE QUESTION Don’t answer any question unless you hear it
    completely. If you did not hear the question asked, ask the other attorney torepeat
    it or ask the court reporter to read it back.
    3. UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION BEFORE ANSWERING. Do not hesitate to ask
    the other attorney to repeat or rephrase the question until you do understand it.
    4. PAUSE AFTER EACH QUESTION. This gives you an opportunity to think and make
    an appropriate response. It also permits me to formulate an objection to the
    question if one is appropriate.
    5. DO NOT GUESS at any answer. If you do not know the answer to a question, even
    though you feel you would appear ignorant or evasive saying that you do not know,
    you should nevertheless do so, because a guess or estimate is always wrong.
    6. DO NOT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION. Answer the question that is asked of you
    and then stop.
    7. NO EXPLANATIONS. Never attempt to explain or justify your answer. You are there
    to give the facts as you know them and you are not supposed nor should feel
    obligated to apologize or attempt to justify those facts. Any attempt at such would
    make it appear that you doubt the accuracy or authenticity of your own testimony.
    8. BE VERBAL. Speak loudly enough so everyone can hear you. Do not nod or make
    gestures; these cannot be recorded by the court reporter.
    9. REMAIN CALM AND POLITE. Do not lose your temper no matter how hard you are
    pressed. If you lose your temper, you may be playing into the other side's hands.
    Do not argue with the other attorney. Give him the information in the same tone of
    voice and manner that you do in answer to your own attorney's questions. The
    lawyer has the right to ask questions, and your own attorney will object to any
    inappropriate questions or actions by the other lawyer.
    10. BE AWARE of questions involving distances and time. If at any time you estimate
    distances or time in any of your answers, state that it is an estimate.
    11. QUOTING OTHERS. If you are testifying with regard to conversations, make clear
    whether you are paraphrasing comments made by you or other persons, or whether
    you are quoting directly what was said.
    12. NEVER SAY NEVER. Eliminate adjectives and superlatives such as "never" and
    always from your vocabulary.
    13. DO NOT TESTIFY about documents, or about what other people know, or about
    your state of mind at a particular time unless you are specifically asked.
    14 NOTES, DIARIES, ETC... Do not plan to use any notes, diaries or any other
    documents to assist you during your deposition unless such document has been
    specifically reviewed byyour attorney. Use of notes to refresh your memory or any other such
    documents may be examined by the other side.
    15. DOCUMENTS TO BE PRODUCED. You may have been instructed to produce
    documents at your deposition. If so, you should bring three copies of the
    documents. One copy will be provided to opposing counsel, one copy will be kept
    by you, and one copy will be kept by your attorney. You should also bring the originals in the
    event there is any question as to the accuracy of the copies.
    Last edited by tony; 04-01-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
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    3,190

    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    14. DOCUMENTS NOT PRODUCED. If information is in a document which you need
    to see in order to testify truthfully and accurately, request the other attorney to
    provide you with a copy of the document. Do not agree to supply any documents or
    information. If you are asked to supply documents or information, refer the other
    lawyer to your attorney. Do not, without your attorny's request, reach into your pocket for a social
    security card, drivers license, or any other document. Do not ask your attorney to produce
    anything which is in his file. Do not turn to your attorney and ask for information or do not turn
    to another witness, if one should be present, and ask him for information. When
    confronted with documents, examine them carefully, If you haven't seen a particular
    document before or did not prepare it, don't try to guess what it means. Do not
    vouch for the accuracy of a document. Also, be careful not to interpret a date shown
    on a document as being the true date of its writing.
    17. MISTAKES. If at anytime during the deposition you realize you have given an
    erroneous answer or you have misspoken, correct your answer as soon as you
    recognize your error. Either tell the opposing lawyer that you misspoke, or tell your
    own attorney at the first available opportunity.
    18. LISTEN. Do not let the opponent put words in your mouth. If necessary restate or
    rephrase in your own words the attorney's question. Pay particular Attention to
    introductory clauses preceding the question. Do not accept the other attorney's
    summary of your testimony unless it is completely accurate.
    19. RELAX. You are not expected to know by memory all details of what was said
    when, by whom and where over a long period of time. Do not offer an answer
    requiring you to consult records not available at the deposition or requiring you to
    consult your friends and associates for the answer.
    20. DON'T BE HARASSED about admitting that you have met and consulted with your attorney
    prior to giving your deposition. If asked what you talked about, simply say he merely
    instructed you to be truthful and honest. What else you and your attorney discussed is confidential
    and should not be revealed to the other side.
    21. DO NOT BE AFRAID. There is no one who is going to harm you and there is no
    need to show fear or anxiety or to be afraid to answer questions truthfully.
    22. BEWARE of questions by the other attorney beginning with words similar to "Is that
    all?" THE OTHER SIDE IS ATTEMPTING TO FREEZE YOUR TESTIMONY. A good
    answer to such a question would include phrases such as "To the best of my
    recollection at the present time." Also, beware of compound questions.
    23. NO JOKES. Never joke in a deposition. Try to avoid wisecracks and obscenities The.
    humor would not be apparent on the cold transcript and may look crude or untruthful.
    24. OBJECTIONS TO QUESTIONS. There may be one or more questions asked of you
    during the deposition which your attorney will find objectionable because it is not part of the
    proper discovery in the case. In such an instance, your attorney will instruct you not to answer the
    question. Occasionally, the opposing attorney will ask that such question be
    "certified" meaning that it will presented to the judge at a later date to determine
    whether you should answer the question.
    25. DO NOT CONVERSE WITH OPPONENT. After the deposition is over, do not chat
    with your opponents or their attorney. Remember, the other attorney is your legal
    enemy. Do not let his friendly manner cause you to drop your guard or become
    chatty.
    26. DO NOT SPECULATE. Do not try to figure out before you answer whether a truthful
    answer will help or hinder your case. Answer truthfully.

    FINAL ADVICE. Your deposition is being taken to provide the opponent with
    information to be used AGAINST you. You cannot "win" a deposition. So please
    answer the questions truthfully, but concisely. Do not provide more information than
    the other attorney has asked for.


    Tony
    Last edited by tony; 04-01-2012 at 10:56 AM.
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    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    i would think your lawyer would go over some key points before hearing and he will guide you during it dont stress.
    peace

  5. #5
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    Feb 2007
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    It is your lawyer's job and responsibility to prepare you for the deposition. Make him do it.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  6. #6
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    Oct 1971
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    3,190

    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    Quote Quoting complwyr View Post
    It is your lawyer's job and responsibility to prepare you for the deposition. Make him do it.
    That's the problem, how do you "make" a lawyer do anything?

    Tony
    Moderator
    We reserve the right to forbid any user from participating in this forum, and to close any user account, at any time, for any reason. In the interest of the community, this may be done without prior notice or warning.
    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    7

    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    I just went through a deposition a few weeks ago. Mentally prepare yourself to be made out to be a liar and the worst possible human being on the planet. The job of the defense attorney is to make you feel bad and make you question yourself. My advice is to go in with a clear mind and don't stress yourself out over it. As long as you speak the truth, you are not saying anything "wrong". Get plenty of sleep the night before. I will tell you that it was the most mentally and physically exhausting experience of my life. If you can find someone to drive you, that would be better than trying to drive yourself afterwords. The advice given above by "Tony" (I believe that was his name) is perfect. Your lawyer is there to help you through it. Listen to his advice. Also, don't be afraid to ask if you need a break. I made the mistake of waiting until the defense attorney offered one (and very thankful he did even though I know he didn't have to offer it at all). Take the break to walk around and clear your head of all that is going on in the hearing. If you second-guess yourself, the defense is going to take advantage of that. Be firm in your answers. Be professional in your answers. And, most of all, don't let the defense attorney's comments and questions get you flustered. That is their job. That is what they get paid to do. Don't take it personally.
    Good luck to you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    2,840

    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    Tony--by calling the lawyer and/or staff and insisting that you get an appointment to come in and prepare for the depo. If lawyer balks, stay on him--"I really need to come in and talk to you about the depo because I am very nervous about it." That should get an appointment set.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    3,190

    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    Quote Quoting complwyr View Post
    Tony--by calling the lawyer and/or staff and insisting that you get an appointment to come in and prepare for the depo. If lawyer balks, stay on him--"I really need to come in and talk to you about the depo because I am very nervous about it." That should get an appointment set.
    So what happens when he chews you out and says "What, you think you're important? I do have other clients, if you don't like it, find another lawyer" (they know it's impossible and he holds the chips)

    I'm not going to start, I've already been chastised by the community for my outbursts, even though true.
    But be it as it may, here goes.
    Most worker comp attorneys that I've dealt with or met in real life and some I have banned from this board are arrogant assholes.
    They have little or no respect for their clients, they categorize them by the value of their claim and treat them accordingly.
    Some have attitudes toward injured workers, they think they're out for a fast buck. I've heard statements like "what, did your employer actually ask you to work" when a client complained about an employer not abiding by restrictions. Or "what does this look like a bank" when a client complains about not getting a check.

    I'm surprised by you and a few other attorneys I've seen in this board, your attitudes are not the norm, most suffer from "I'm a God" syndrome.

    Enough Said
    Tony
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    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    209

    Default Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice

    Don't worry Tony, I agree with you, and the Attorneys are the ones out to make the fast buck, look at the cars they drive. most make a few phone calls, take a statement, maybe do a total of a normal 8 hour day's worth of work at most on your case including the hearing, and get a huge chunk from your settlement. At least that is the way mine is, and he is supposedly a long time friend of the family back before he was a lawyer.

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