In some workers’ compensation cases, one of the parties (usually the injured employee) will be subject to a deposition. A deposition is a recorded meeting in which the opposing attorney asks the “deponent” questions about facts regarding the case. As per O.C.G.A. 9-11-30, almost anyone who has facts about the case can be subpoenaed and required to provide a deposition, even if they are not one of the named parties in the case. A workers’ compensation deposition in Atlanta is generally held during the discovery period of a case and has several important purposes.
The Purpose of a Deposition in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Many people assume the only reason an employer’s attorney would ever request the claimant to provide a deposition is to discover facts that may negate the claim. Although this is partially true, the discovery of relevant facts is only part of the purpose of taking depositions.
Below are three other common reasons why an employer/insurer may take an employee’s deposition:
- To get the claimant’s testimony on record. The employer already may know certain facts about the case but may want to get the worker’s statements on record so that he or she cannot later change the story.
- To assess the employee’s credibility.
- To garner insight into the manner in which the employee responds to questions. This way, the employer’s attorney will be better prepared for a cross-examination at a formal hearing.
Essentially, a deposition is a chance for each party to gain a better understanding about the case and the opposing parties’ stances, as well as holes in their own cases and how to prepare for trial.
What to Expect at a Deposition
Depositions are not held in a courtroom. Rather, they are usually held in an attorney’s office. All interested parties and their counsel will be there, as well as a court reporter who will transcribe the deposition. The opposing attorney will ask the deponent a series of questions about the case. Generally, these questions will be a lot broader than what might be allowed in the courtroom, and you’re usually required to answer them.
A deposition is a serious matter; it is given under oath, which means that lying can bring criminal penalties. Your attorney can help you prepare for a deposition so that you are not overly anxious about the meeting.
Bader Law Firm, LLC, Can Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Case
If you are running into issues with your workers’ comp benefits or have been asked to give a deposition, we encourage you to call us for counsel.
Contact one of our attorneys at Bader Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation at 678-562-5595.