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What Should I Do If I Am Asked to Give a Statement In My Workers Compensation Lawsuit
If the court or if your employer's insurer asks for you to give a statement in your workers' compensation lawsuit, it may feel a little scary. Official statements are no laughing matter, but by the same token, if you know why they are requested and how to view them, you will be able to get through them just fine.
Your workers' compensation lawyer will be able to help you prepare your statement for a court. However, even before your lawsuit, your employer's insurer may ask for a statement about your workplace accident. This statement may be used if your case ever does go to court, and any compromising statements will be used against you by the lawyer for the insurer.
What to Say in your Statement
The purpose of your statement is to provide an accurate account of your injury. Stick to the facts, and don't include any emotional statements. While emotions may be guided and used by a skillful lawyer, generally speaking, they won't impress a judge. Without attempting to influence the court by laying blame in one direction or another, just say what happened to you. Your lawyer will make the rhetorical connection between your statement and the fault incurred by your employer.
Remember: In a court, you are an object used by your lawyer to prove your point and get your money. You are paying your lawyer because she is skilled at presenting information in a way that can't be questioned. She is a master of language and rhetoric, and all responsibility for casting fault and blame is squarely on her shoulders. By sticking to the facts in your statement, you allow her do her job most effectively.
The main reason that lawyers worry about their clients giving statements is because a client may inadvertently cast blame on himself. He may, in attempting to provide more details than are necessary, say that he did something that he shouldn't have done. For this reason, look at any statement you make and pick it apart. Only say the facts that everyone at the scene observed.
Acceptable statements include: "I fell from nine feet up." "I slipped and fell on the floor." "The concrete fell on my head." The simpler, the better. Be sure to consult with a workers' compensation lawyer to put together a good statement for your workers' compensation lawsuit.