Credibility is defined as the quality of being trusted and believed in, and being convincing.
It should be clear why this is very important in any lawsuit. It is your claim against the other person’s claim, which is why you need to be more believable. The facts and law on your side also need to be more believable, and correct. But most of these cases come down to he said/she said. This results in a pure credibility determination for the jury to review.
Your credibility and believability starts even before your case. Even before your injury. Even before you get close to being hurt. Your credibility is something that you develop as you grow. It is something innate to you, and it is something that matters in EVER lawsuit—medical malpractice or not.
Why does it start so early?
Why does it matter so much?
Because dishonest acts ARE admissible in front of a jury to attack your credibility. This could even be a conviction for fraud that occurred years before your lawsuit. This is admissible because it demonstrates a propensity to tell the truth—to be credible, to be believable. Even at the age of 18, dishonest crimes and convictions can hurt you. Sometimes even juvenile offenses are admissible.
This is important because they can absolutely destroy your case 5 years later!
Credibility matters because part of assessing damages in any personal injury action is determining your pain and suffering. While you can have objective proof of pain and suffering, such as an X-ray of a broken bone, it is the subjective proof that helps establishes your damages. Subjective proof includes statements of pain and agony, and your suffering that you have sustained as a result of the injuries.
This is what is believable! The defense will say you are exaggerating or that you are not actually injured. If the jury has to assess the defendant’s claims against your claims, and you have a dishonest history, your credibility will be harmed and it is not likely for the jury to rule in your favor.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.