Part 1 of 2: Credibility is the key to winning at trial

Michigan attorney shares lessons from over 40 years of practice in the area of workers’ compensation law and why some clients get caught lying at trial.

Credibility

Today’s blog post is written by Alex Berman. He is the founder of our law firm and has been practicing for more than 40 years in the field of workers’ compensation law. Here are some of his thoughts about what happens when clients get caught lying at trial.

During my four decades as a workers’ compensation lawyer, I can clearly recall three times one of my clients was caught lying during testimony, while under oath. Although this is a very small number, compared to the hundreds of cases I have tried, it illustrates an important issue for our clients. Credibility is the key to winning!

Everyone who has a workers’ compensation claim should know that there is always a significant chance that, at some point, they will be under surveillance by someone hired by the insurance carrier. If they catch even one individual out of a hundred, it is worth the expense to have an injured worker watched and recorded, in hopes that they will catch them doing something which looks like they are exaggerating or faking their injuries.

When I first meet with a client, I always warn them that they should always act as though they are being watched when they are outside their home or traveling anywhere. I do not like to make them paranoid, but being aware of the possibility of surveillance, at any time, could save them from losing at trial, or even being charged with fraud.

Although we do our best to accept only clients who are legitimately injured and unable to work, sometimes people do things that “appear” that they are not as injured as they claim. I say “appear” since often clients, who are truly injured and disabled try to perform activities they should not and are against their doctor’s restrictions.

Sometimes they do not have someone else who can, for instance, take out the garbage, cut the lawn, remove snow from a car, or drive to the store for groceries or medication. Some people have good days, when they can do more than usual and will take advantage of that time to do things they normally cannot. It is very innocent and natural behavior. However, when this activity is recorded, it appears that they are ALWAYS capable of doing these things. This video surveillance is taken out-of-context and used in court to refute testimony.

I always caution clients do avoid the “appearance” of exaggerating or faking. Resist the temptation of doing things in public they normally cannot do. Getting caught on video surveillance will ruin their credibility at trial and they will not be successful with their case.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.

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