New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Credibility is Critical in a Personal Injury Case
Posted on Mar 30, 2015 in Personal Injury
The Main Objective of the Defense
Your personal injury case is coming up for trial and the defense is trying to show that you are lying.
The defense attorney has a job to do, and the defense is going to do everything possible to show that you are lying. Why do they do that? The answer is that credibility is the key to the entire case. Your credibility is critical and so is the defense’s credibility. Based on this reasoning, the first person to show that the other is lying or not exactly accurate, gains points as the case progresses.
How does the Defense try to Erode Your Credibility?
Your credibility is so important that if there are hidden skeletons in your closet, things that you do not want other people to know about, the defense will do everything possible to reveal:
- Your history
- Any inconsistencies in your testimony
- Inconsistencies and contradictions between what is contained in the doctor’s records as well as what you have testified to and what you have spoken to other people about
The main objective of the defense will be to show that you are contradicting yourself and that you are lying. If they are able to find some contradictions or lies then they are going to put it to maximum use. When the defense is summing up or during the closing arguments, the attorney will point out to the jury all your contradictions and/or lies.
The lawyer will explain to the jury how they could believe someone when they have lied or contradicted themselves even once during the trial. Even if the matter you may have lied about is small, the defense will ask the jury that how they can believe the other things you have said is true.
Entire Testimony can be Disregarded
The judge too will give instructions to the jury, where he will tell the jury that if they find a witness has lied about one particular thing, then they have the right to disregard the witness’s full testimony. The jury can believe the full testimony or part of the testimony of a witness. However, if it is found that, the witness has lied about one particular thing; the jury has the right to disregard everything the witness has said because he or she could be lying about that as well.
Therefore, the defense attorney’s job is to show your contradictions and to show the jury that you are not being truthful. Once they have done that, they are going to hit some clean three pointers in the eyes of the court, and you will have a huge hurdle to overcome in order to show successfully that you are more likely right than wrong, and what you are claiming actually occurred. Credibility is critical in a personal injury case, and if you have lost it then you have practically lost your case.