April 20, 2019

Doctor Deposition Testimony – Very Powerful Evidence to Help You Win

depositionsOne of the areas where I can greatly enhance the value of your case has to do with depositions I take of the doctors who treat you for a work injury.

If you have read through my web sites and viewed my video on this topic, you know how much importance I place on pushing the insurance company to provide quality medical care.  I am especially concerned about treatment provided by posted panel doctors because physicians who get most of their business from insurance companies may bring financial motivations into their treatment plans for you.

What often happens, therefore, is that many cases contain conflicting medical reports.  The posted panel doctor may write that your back pain arises from a muscle strain and that your MRI report was inconclusive.  A report from your claimant’s IME doc may identify a disc herniation and need for an (expensive) surgical consult.

Workers’ compensation judges, therefore are left with the task of trying to figure out from medical records and attorney produced forms what medical treatment is appropriate or just how severe an injury you have suffered.

My experience has been that deposition testimony is a far more effective tool than medical reports to help the judge understand the degree and severity of your injuries and to reveal any inconsistencies and biases in posted panel physician testimony.

If you are not familiar with the term, a deposition refers to testimony given under oath by someone.  You, as the claimant, are likely to face a request for a deposition as are the various physicians who have provided treatment in your case. When I take a doctor’s deposition I usually do so at the physician’s office in the late afternoon after office hours.  The insurance company’s lawyer will be there as will a court reporter who records every word spoken into machine and later provides both parties with a printout.

Workers compensation judges like deposition evidence because it avoids the need for physicians to appear in court live and judges can save time when the attorneys in a case can point to specific pages in the transcript to support their arguments.

When I am deposing a posted panel physician, my questions will be in the form of a cross examination.  I am never rude but I will ask probing and detailed questions about how the doctor examined you and why he arrived at the conclusions he did.  I take a great deal of pride in how I prepare for depositions and with my efforts in asking questions.

If the doctor’s answers to my questions are inconsistent with the medical record or with my knowledge of medical practice and procedure, the atmosphere in the deposition can get a little tense or uncomfortable but that is fine.  You hired me to serve as your advocate and I am not going to allow an insurance company or their doctors to trample your rights.

I should also point out that while I am not a physician, over the past 25 years I have read and studied thousands of pages of medical records and deposed hundreds of doctors.  I am not intimidated by any health care provider and I can generally spot inconsistencies or efforts to mislead.

In most cases I will participate in several doctor’s depositions and when the transcripts are made ready, I will use this evidence to argue for the findings by the judge that benefit you.

So, while you may see pages from a transcript, now you know a little more about what happens behind the scenes.  If you have any questions about doctor depositions or depositions in general, you are welcome to call me or email me – I am happy to speak with you.

 

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Jodi Ginsberg

Attorney Jodi Ginsberg represents employees who are injured on the job and who need medical care and missed wage benefits available under Georgia's workers' compensation laws.

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