A question we at Meuser Law Office get asked a lot in practice is what is a deposition?What are they allowed to ask me? And, what should I expect going into my deposition? Basically, a deposition is an informal question and answer session which takes place outside of the courtroom. You will be under oath and your attorney will be present with you to make sure that opposing counsel does not ask you anything inappropriate or outside the scope of the litigated matter. Additionally, your attorney is there to clarify questions that may be confusing and reword them. Your attorney will also be present to make sure that any questions you answer are not confusing and that you fully understand the questions being asked of you so you can provide an appropriate response. Both attorneys are allowed to ask questions of you and the court reporter will take down everything that is said in the deposition, both by you and the other attorneys. Typically, what is asked are where are you treated? They will ask about your injury and how it occurred. They’ll go through your employment history, usually beginning at high school going all the way through up until your present employment.
They will ask about pre-existing conditions and any medical treatment for the body part that was injured on the job. They’ll typically ask you if you have any chronic medical conditions or if you’ve had any car accidents in the past. Another typical question asked is whether or not you’ve made any workers’ compensation claims in the past. These are all very typical things that are asked during your deposition. One factor in the other attorney’s analysis of the value of your claim is how well you do as a witness. If you make a good witness on your own behalf, then that lends value to your claim and ultimately that helps us be able to settle your claim for a higher value or be able to procure a higher award if we go to trial.
Now, a deposition can be a stressful thing. You don’t have to answer every question perfectly. You just have to come across as truthful and credible and that will be a win in terms of a deposition.