I have been representing victims of car crash injuries for more than 30 years. During that time I have prepared many clients to have their deposition taken. For those of you that have never been involved in a lawsuit a deposition is a formal procedure where the opposing attorney asks you serious questions about the case after you have sworn to tell the truth.
My client preparation is simple: Tell the truth. As an attorney I can deal with the truth. But as NBC’s top news anchorman Brian Williams just found out telling lies has a devastating irreparable effect on your credibility.
When you lose your credibility nothing else matters. This is true whether you are the news anchor of a major network or the injured victim in a car crash.
Brian Williams lied about being involved in combat while a reporter in Iraq. Stars and Stripes exposed his lie. Other major news outlets, such as CNN, have taken up the hunt. Many are speculating that Williams will lose his job.
When you are a plaintiff in a lawsuit claiming you have been injured the most important parts of your case depend on your credibility. The law says you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. But no one can measure your pain and suffering. It is personal to you. For a jury to award you damages for your pain and suffering the jury must believe you. Many factors go into how we determine if someone is telling the truth. One of the most important factors is the determination that the person always tells the truth. If you expect to be believed you have to tell the truth about the big things, the little things, the good things and the bad things. If a jury determines you have lied, not been truthful, about one thing it will discount everything that you say.
So, tell the truth. It is the right thing to do.