(This article relates to a typical workers compensation deposition in California)
A deposition is the taking of your statement under oath. The deposition is usually taken in our office by the insurance company attorney. Your attorney will be present to assist in the process and advise you throughout the deposition process. A court reporter will be present to record everything that is said by the parties in the room.
A deposition is almost the same as giving testimony in court, except that no Judge is present. You will be under the same oath that you take in court. Lying under oath is perjury. You will be subject to the penalty of perjury and could be prosecuted for insurance fraud.
Perjury is a crime punishable by imprisonment or fine. In addition, in a workers’ compensation case, you can lose your right to any benefits and be charged with a separate felony if you make a false statement in order to obtain insurance benefits. This includes statements that are not under oath, made to doctors, investigators, or insurance adjusters.
What Happens At A Deposition?
It is a question and answer session so that the defense can gather information, assess your credibility, take down information for a potential investigation and get to know you. The defense attorney will ask you questions about your work history, personal history, educational history, skills, past injuries, current workers compensation claim, among other information. A workers’ compensation deposition is seldom confrontational. This does not mean they are not doing their best to obtain information to limit your benefits.
Do not go through a deposition without an attorney.
While claims are not “won” in a deposition, they can be “lost” and put you in danger of criminal and civil prosecution. Our office will prepare each client for an hour before the deposition and you should expect from any attorney.