Nevada workers’ compensation cases typically involve no depositions unless the workers comp claim is denied, and the injured worker decides to appeal. At that point, a hearing officer with Nevada’s Department of Administration may permit the employer’s insurance company to depose the injured worker.1 This is where the worker answers questions under oath about his/her injury and what caused it.
What is said in the deposition may determine whether the hearing officer will grant the following workers comp benefits, and how much:
- Reimbursement for medical care
- Permanent partial disability (PPD)
- Permanent total disability (PTD)
- Temporary partial disability (TPD)
- Temporary total disability (TTD)
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death benefits if the worker dies
- Lump sum awards
- Other expenses, such as mileage reimbursements
What should I expect from a workers comp deposition?
Workers’ comp depositions typically take place in a conference room at the workers’ compensation insurance company’s office. Present at the depo are:
- The injured employee
- The injured worker’s attorney
- The insurance company’s attorney (the “defense attorney”), who questions the injured worker
- A court reporter, who transcribes every word spoken and creates a transcript
- A representative of the employer
- An interpreter (if necessary)
During the deposition, the defense attorney will ask the injured worker several questions about his/her injury and the circumstances that led to it. Even if the defense attorney has a gentle demeanor, his/her goal is to elicit information to show that:
- The injury had nothing to do with the worker’s job, and/or
- The injury is not as serious as the worker claims
Ultimately, the defense attorney’s goal is for the workers’ compensation insurance company to pay out the minimum amount of workers’ compensation benefits – if any.
What questions are asked in a workers comp deposition?
The first few questions asked of injured workers in workers comp depositions are basic, such as name, employment history, and residence history. Then the defense attorney grills the injured worker on:
- The extent of the work-related injury or occupational disease
- How the workplace injury happened
- His/her medical providers, including chiropractors
- His/her medical treatment
- His/her medical records
- Whether the worker was injured previously
- How the impairment affects his/her ability to work
It is not unusual for depositions to last all day.
What happens if I lie at a deposition?
Deposition testimony is taken under oath, so people who lie risk prosecution for perjury (NRS 199.120). Perjury is a category D felony, carrying 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison and a possible fine of up to $5,000.2
How do I prepare for a deposition?
Injured workers should prepare for the deposition with his/her workers’ compensation attorney by reviewing all the information he/she may be asked about. The injured worker should be clear on the details of his/her injury and how it happened.
The insurance carrier’s attorney will go to every length to try to rattle the injured worker and to get him/her to contradict him/herself. Therefore, workers need to be careful to take their time when responding to questions, and ask for a break if necessary.
Injured in a non-work-related accident? Contact our Nevada personal injury attorneys.
Is your claim for workers comp in California? Contact our Los Angeles workers comp lawyers.
- NRS 616D.050. See also the Division of Industrial Relations (DIR). If the employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, then the employee may bring a traditional lawsuit.
- NRS 199.120.