There are plenty of mistakes a deponent can make in an injury case, so every injured worker should be fully prepared by his or her attorney well before the deposition date. The first things to remember are that you should always tell the truth, be polite, and only give as much information as necessary to answer the question you are asked.
Here are three ways deponents have hurt their deposition testimony in the past:
- Failing to follow up with your doctor. It can take months for your case to make it to the deposition stage, so you keep attending your regular doctor’s appointments and following your physicians’ advice. Even if your doctor has nothing further to offer you than “get plenty of rest,” you should still stay in contact with him throughout your case. An opposing attorney will take note if you miss or cancel any appointments, and may attempt to show that you are not seriously injured.
- Keeping things from your attorney. The more information your attorney has, the better he or she can represent you. Even if you did something that can hurt your case, it is better to tell your attorney then to have him or her find out about it in the middle of court.
- Lying about previous injuries. If you had a prior injury in the same part of the body as your work injury, you need to tell your attorney about it. Merely having a previous injury does not disqualify you from benefits, but lying or attempting to conceal the condition is likely to have an impact on your credibility. The opposing attorney will likely have access to your medical information, so any prior surgeries or treatments you have had are fairly easy to prove.