The deposition plays an important role in the discovery phase of your disability lawsuit. It allows attorneys, both for the plaintiff and the insurance carrier, to discover facts about your disability case. In preparing for the disability deposition, the first thing we advise our clients is to only answer what is asked of you, no more, no less. And, always tell the truth; always. When you tell the truth there is zero risk of contradicting yourself or of having the other side question your credibility.
Preparing . . .
Before a scheduled disability deposition, we typically meet with our client to review prior statements, medical records, doctors’ narratives and any other relevant evidence to date. We also provide advice about what to do at the disability deposition. First, it is prudent to dress for the deposition as you would dress for business; simply and neatly. As with most life situations, impressions do count.
When it comes time for you to provide testimony, remember to remain calm. Although the opposing attorney may try to intimidate or anger you, stay focused. Answer all questions politely. Remember, it is not your job to argue with opposing counsel; leave that to your lawyer.
If you cannot remember, do not try to reconstruct events. Simply say, ‘I cannot remember.’ You don’t want to guess. An honest mistake could make it appear as if you aren’t being truthful.
Before answering any question, always wait a few seconds. If you are unsure of a question, ask for clarification. Or, you may ask to consult with your attorney. It is important to understand the question before providing an answer as you certainly don’t want to provide an incorrect answer. Keep your answers short and to the point. The disability deposition is not an opportunity for you to tell your side of the story. Rather, it is a fact-finding exercise for the attorneys.
One more thing, consider everything you say on the record, even when the stenographer is not taking notes. Throughout the disability deposition remember not to volunteer any information that is not asked of you.