Today I want to talk about the importance of being open and honest to your personal injury attorney during your case. To do that I want to tell you a story. I recently had a trial, and during the trial my client wanted to testify why she wasn’t working at the time of the accident. Now this wasn’t a particularly important point in the case because we weren’t making a claim for lost wages. But because I didn’t know any better, I asked her that question during the trial.
The problem was she testified that she had been laid off due to the problems with the economy. What happened later in the trial is that the defense called as a witness her former employer, who testified to the jury that that wasn’t the reason why she was fired. In fact, the reason why she was fired was that she was dishonest and actually stole from the company.
Now my client insisted that wasn’t true. We had her testify to explain to the jury why she thought the employer was saying what he said. But it turned out to be a very big problem in the case, and it damaged my client’s credibility greatly.
The lesson for all of us to learn is that clients need to be honest with their attorneys and tell them everything, the good and the bad. Had I known that there was any question about the reason why she left her employment, we never would have discussed that during her testimony, and she never would have been open to that kind of damage to her credibility that occurred in the case.
So please be sure to tell your personal injury attorney the good, the bad, the ugly, everything so that you can be properly represented.