Dishonesty in any form in any legal situation is a bad idea, but the stakes get even higher when you're in front of a jury. A personal injury case can end up in a courtroom, and this is your one opportunity to convince a jury of your peers not only of the details of your accident and injury but also what amount of damages would be fair to award you. Your personal injury attorney will carefully warn you about any form of dishonesty and stress how being caught in a lie could cause you to lose the case. If a jury can determine that you haven't been truthful, it may feel that you lack credibility—and they could easily side with the defendant instead. Here are three lies that might be easy to tell, but from which you should abstain.
How the Injury Is Affecting You
Personal injury plaintiffs may sometimes feel a desire to exaggerate about the severity of the injury that they've suffered. You may worry that your injury doesn't seem serious enough as-is and that making it sound a little worse could be beneficial for your case. Doing so, however, is best to avoid because you don't know what evidence the defendant's attorneys could use to refute your claim. For example, if you were to state that you've been in so much pain that you can barely walk, the defendant's attorneys may respond by showing the jury a surveillance photo of you taking a jog.
Your Role in the Accident
It's a common misconception in personal injury cases to think that if you had a role in the accident, you won't get awarded any damages. The reality is that even if you had a contributing role, the other party did, too—and damages are definitely possible. Don't try to state untruths about your role in the accident to any degree, as being caught in a lie can jeopardize your entire case. For example, in a slip-and-fall case, you can safely state that you were walking quickly when you slipped, rather than feeling the need to state that you were walking slowly and cautiously.
The Defendant's Role in the Accident
Just as it's important to be transparent about whatever role you might have had in the accident, you should avoid making untrue claims about the role that the defendant played. Remember, the defendant's attorneys have worked hard to build a case that refutes your claims, and any untruth from your side can be detrimental. Don't make the mistake of assuming that you knew intent on the defendant's part. For example, instead of stating, "the defendant's staircase was in disrepair because he didn't care if anyone fell," simply stick to the facts.
For more tips, consult a personal injury attorney.Share