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What Questions Will Be Asked at My Workers’ Compensation Deposition?

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Archive: Nov 2015

What Questions Will Be Asked at My Workers’ Compensation Deposition?

When you file a workers’ compensation claim after an injury, you will likely have to make a statement under oath regarding your injury. The insurance company processing the claim will use this recorded statement to approve or deny your claim. You must answer honestly during a deposition, but you can always ask for clarification – and “I do not know” is a perfectly acceptable response. Some of the questions you encounter in a workers’ compensation deposition may be related to:

  • Identification and personal information. To confirm you are who you say you are, the attorney will ask you a series of questions regarding your identity, your address, education history, and personal information about your family and living circumstances.
  • Employment information. You may need to answer questions about your current job as well as your previous employers, past injuries, claims filings, and why you left previous employers. You may answer the same questions over and over again regarding each prior supervisor.
  • Accident information. The attorney questioning you may ask several details regarding the date and time of the accident, how it occurred, and any details you remember from the scene.
  • Medical information. Your previous medical history and current treatment, diagnoses, and outcomes will come to light during a deposition. Questions about everything from previous car accidents to additional claims can help an insurer confirm you are telling the truth about your history and experiences. The examiner will likely have insurance records to confirm your statement. You may need to disclose disability information as well.
  • The effects of the accident. In addition to what you remember from the day of the incident, you will likely have to make a statement regarding your treatment and the effect the injury has had on your life, including current disabilities, medications, and therapy a physician has recommended.
  • Psychological injuries. If you claim psychological injury resulting from a workplace injury, you may have to answer in-depth information regarding your personal life. This may involve drug history, marital problems, and previous psychological history.

You will likely have to answer many questions that relate directly to your current employment, the incident, and your subsequent injury, but you may also have to prepare for queries that span across your life, including everything from your daily quality of living to who you reside with and how you feel about it. One of the best ways you can prepare for a deposition is to run through a list of questions with an attorney who understands how workers’ compensation depositions work.

If you have any concerns about your past, personal life, medical history, or other areas of your life, address them with legal counsel before you go into the deposition. Failing to answer truthfully could be considered an act of perjury. However, you will have an opportunity to review and correct your statement if you misspoke.

Tips for Answering Questions

Remembering what you should and should not do in a deposition can help you prepare for the question and answer session.

  • Always allow the questioner to finish speaking, and take time to consider the question before replying.
  • Use short, concise, verbal answers. Avoid using body language to convey answers.
  • Take breaks as needed. You can step out of the deposition to go to the restroom or clear your head.
  • Remain polite for the duration. Regardless of what you think an attorney is trying to prove with his or her line of questioning, stay calm. If you need to, take some time to speak with your own attorney before continuing with the session.

To find a legal team who can help you prepare for your workers’ compensation deposition, contact us today.

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Professional Athletes and Workers’ Compensation

Unlike most laborers, professional athletes accept a certain level of risk as part of their daily jobs. Especially for high contact sports such as football, the chance of serious injury is a constant threat to their career. However, back in early 2014, the National Football League nudged the California State Legislature to pass a law banning professional athletes from filing workers compensation claims in the state. The backlash of this legislation was immediate. Over 1,000 NFL players filed claims to try and receive some kind of benefit before the deadline for coverage ended in September 2015.

While you may think that professional athletes know all about the risks of a career ending injury and make enough money to cover the costs even if it does happen, this could not be further from the truth. Not all professional athletes make six-figure incomes – or even close to it. Many of them go to work on a regular basis for a paycheck just like the rest of us. Furthermore, the individuals affected by the ruling are not limited to professional ball players. Many athletes, including gymnasts, dancers, and Cirque du Soleil performers, may also find they cannot claim benefits. If they suffer an injury, they have to settle for lost wages and come up with the associated medical expenses on their own.

Many laborers know about occupational risks ahead of time, and they still receive compensation if injured on the job. Oil rig workers and construction workers, for instance, know the risks that come with working in dangerous environments, but their ability to claim workers’ compensation benefits makes that risk easier to manage.

Even though most states require every employer to provide workers’ compensation benefits for employees, when it comes to sports, which can be more dangerous than the average job, employers are not required to pay a dime. They are no longer responsible for providing benefits to players who might suffer a catastrophic injury playing on the field, even though actors and other entertainment employees can still file for workers’ compensation. There is no good reason for professional athletes to be banned from doing the same.

The Long-term Effects

The average career span of NFL players is 3.5 years, meaning that most professional athletes often only have a limited career timeframe. Yet they are supposed to make that salary last years and cover the costs for potential injuries. Not having the ability to collect benefits from workers’ compensation means those injured face greater difficulty when coming out of the league and are forced to try and find alternative occupations under sometimes dire circumstances.

Finding the Answers

You will find many differing perspectives on our state’s laws, but a truly fair answer to the question lies in an alternative to the workers’ compensation ban in California. These athletes face an incredible risk as they strive to perform at the top of their game and earn the respect and financial support of their fans. They deserve some type of benefit to help mitigate that risk and allow them to continue to perform at a highly competitive level. Even a workers’ compensation law that increased restrictions on the types of claims filed would be a better solution than a universal ban.

Until the laws change to support professional athletes, there are alternative legal remedies that may improve a professional’s ability to manage a job-related injury. Those caused by negligence, for instance, may be eligible for a personal injury claim. Our team at DiMarco Araujo Montevideo can help you find the answers you need to start recovering from a life-altering injury. For more information about legal remedies for athletes or anyone who has been injured, reach out to our team to get started today.

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