The hallmark to a successful personal injury case is credentialing the injured person. The way that we credential our injured client is by transparency and credibility. On the other hand, the insurance company and their lawyers try to undermine the injured person's credibility, and one of the ways that they do this is by impeachment with inconsistencies.
With no close second, credibility is the most important element for any personal injury victim. One of the ways the insurance company's lawyer undermines credibility is by finding inconsistencies in the injured person's story and bringing the inconsistencies up to the jury.
This is how it will play out in trial.
Say you were in a car accident and you hurt your neck and you ended up having surgery. Before you get to trial, the insurance company takes your deposition (statement under oath) and asks you questions for hours. One of the questions that he asks is “have you ever experienced neck pain before the accident?” You answered – “No”.
The insurance company lawyer has a prior medical record saying that you complained of a neck problem to a doctor a couple of years before the crash. Maybe you forgot about the problem or maybe you were holding back it doesn't matter. When you get up to testify at trial, the lawyer will use this inconsistency between your testimony and the medical record to undercut your credibility.
The insurance company lawyer will also argue that your prior problem and not the accident was the reason that you needed surgery. Based on this information, the jury may believe that you are not credible and hold the inconsistency against you when trying to figure out if you were injured in the crash.
I share this information with you so that you understand that your life is a fishbowl when you are making a personal injury claim. And because of the dynamics it is important to be transparent about everything and I mean everything.
If you have any questions about an Indiana personal injury matter, you can always give me a call (219) 874-4878.