In this discussion, Defense Base lawyer Brian Wiklendt walks clients through How to prepare for your DBA deposition.
Brian explains what will happen in a deposition. Recently, Brian was talking to a client on Skype in the Maitland, Florida, office. The client was located overseas.
A deposition is formal, but it is not a courtroom. It’s a chance for both sides to ask questions about the incident or accident that occurred.
Prepare for Your DBA Deposition
Brian is with every Defense Base Act client for the depositions. There’s no way you should ever go into a deposition without an attorney to defend and protect your rights. Prepare for your DBA deposition with a skilled, experienced attorney.
The insurance company is responsible for his compensation payments and his medical issues. And they’re continuing to pay they have no issues or problems with that.
Under Defense Base Act Insurance Company Pays
What they do if we settle this case for a lump sum and move forward, then what he’s going to do—the other lawyer–is he’s going to submit this testimony that he’s getting through this deposition to the federal government under a different law.
We’re under the Defense Base Act which is a federal law that says that if you’re injured the insurance company has to pay.
The War Hazards Act
You can be a TV reporter that gets bombed, any contractor that gets involved in a bombing and any type of a terroristic attack on an American person or third country national. The War Hazards Act pays the insurance company back for them.
The insurance company then once they once they make payments to you and they settle your case outright. After that they can submit the claim to the War Hazards Act which is a separate federal law which covers anyone including employees.
So whatever the insurance pays out to us they can get reimbursed from the War Hazards Act which comes directly from the coffers of the federal government, the federal treasurer.
What’s Documented in the Deposition?
So with that in mind he’s going to want to know he–the attorney for the insurance company–just wants particulars as to exactly where this incident occurred, and hat it was documented by the federal government.
That it was a terrorist attack by insurgents and that was part of it and he was there at the time and he was part of the he was part of being attacked. And if that’s the case then they can get money reimbursed.
Continue Sending Requested Records
We’ll continue to get a lot of medical records in. When we get records in, Doreen goes through and she sorts through and does all the medical summaries for us. Please, continue sending requested records.
In the Deposition
So in the deposition, what the other attorney is going to do, he’s going to have a simple questionnaire in front of you. He’s going to go through pretty much all your work history at the beginning. Work history from high school forward and the jobs that were held in the past.
High School, Jobs, Personal Life are Discussed
The insurance company attorney will go through family life and kind of the background of your life and through the family. He’s going to then go through the job that he had the immediate job that he had before the incident or accident occurred.
Incident is Discussed in Detail
The insurance company attorney will go through the incident exactly where it was, what you saw, what happened, where the grenade went off, where the IED or incident occurred. You will basically be put in the situation that occurred and you can describe it in as much detail as you can. That’s the biggest and most important part.
Don’t Worry About Describing the Incident
Other than other than describing the incident itself — which might be difficult for you to get through — it’s very simple: at the end of the day, all this transcript contains is simply a Q & A.
It’s OK to Get Upset in a Deposition
It doesn’t say that you had to take a break, it doesn’t say that you cried or yelled or screamed or had to leave the room. You can take a break anytime you want. I will help you through it. We can take a break every five minutes if needed.
Be Very Detailed on the Incident
We have to be very detailed on the incident. The actual incident itself because they do have the right to ask you background information. Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Have you got bankruptcies? Divorces? The insurance company attorney is allowed to ask that stuff.
The judge would probably not strike that part from the record, but in order for them to get an appropriate background story, because we are alleging emotional injuries along with physical injuries, they’re pretty much allowed to ask those types of questions even if some of them seem to be kind of sensitive.
Why Can They Ask Those Questions?
The reason why they’re allowed to ask those questions is because we may have put psychological issues into the case. That means that they’re allowed to ask about your well being, whether he had trouble with his family life, and that kind of stuff.
And so you just want to answer very clearly, that you’re allowed to answer, that you prepared for this deposition with his attorney on Friday for about an hour. And that’s all. You don’t have to answer anything other than that.
Anything else is attorney-client privilege between us and what we’re talking about. So you’re allowed to say, “yes, I’ve prepared for this with my attorney.”
If he asks anything like, “what did the attorney say to you? Did he tell you how to answer the questions?”
You say, “that’s attorney-client privilege,” and I obviously will be objecting. But anything we say is confidential.