The most depressing moment in the life of any injury lawyer is when his client for whom he has worked so hard fails to tell the truth or fails to include important information when testifying to the other side.
If the misstatement or deception rises to the level of “fraud” the court can dismiss the case, even if the person was seriously injured by the fault of the other party. Just as bad, the defense can refuse to settle and bring up the “lies” in front of the already skeptical jury, making recovery difficult if not impossible.
The most common areas of “misstatement” are whether the Plaintiff has been working, past injuries and medical history. A dedicated and hard working personal injury lawyer will make sure his client knows the risk of not telling the truth and has access to records of past injury and treatment to refresh their memory before testifying. A good lawyer will help his client by reminding them that saying “I don’t know” is often a better answer than “yes” or “no” to detailed questions about exams and treatment in the distant past. Also when asked about what a client “can or can’t” do because of injuries, avoid saying you “can’t” do something if it is physically possible to do it even if pain keeps you from actually doing it often.
The truth is critical when testifying in an injury case, but careful, informed advice from a good personal injury lawyer beforehand can help the testimony be as accurate and complete as possible without any “gotchas” scored by the defense lawyer.