Honesty is critical part of personal injury case

Oct 26, 2021 | By: Christina Goldberg

Please. PLEASE tell me the truth.

Remember that blog I wrote about how we at Luhrsen Goldberg like taking on difficult-to-prove claims? In that particular blog, I inserted a caveat saying that we like difficult (but not meritless) claims.

Over the years we have gotten better at deciphering truth from fiction. In doing so, we have managed to weed out most meritless claims that come our way.

Every now and then, however, wanting to help a client in need so very much, we unwittingly fall victim to a certain degree of naivete. Ultimately, we find out the hard way that our client has been entirely dishonest with us.

Sometimes the truth isn’t pretty

The hardest part of my job is keeping my promise to my clients that I will discuss the bad parts of their claims with them. Yes, the bad parts.

I would not be doing my job if I allowed claims to move ahead, go into litigation, all the while failing to warn my clients about the potential downsides of doing so.

I don’t believe, in my entire career, that a client has actually said to me “It means a lot that you’re being honest when you tell me I have problems with my claim.”

The response I always get is in fact quite the opposite.

Nobody wants to hear the bad. But when my clients hire me, I make an oath to them — that I will guide them through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Honesty is critically important to your case

Particularly frustrating, however, is that when my clients get mad at me because they have withheld the truth from me. This happened recently.

I had a (now, former) client come to me with a very serious injury requiring surgery.

This was a typical “difficult to prove” case. However, I felt confident, with the facts as reported to me by my client, that I could handle it.

Unfortunately, as we began to receive documentation for our client file, odd comments, references, and other troubling indicators of dishonesty began to appear within our client’s medical records. I approached my client with the troubling records. I requested assistance to understand why the records reflected treatment for this EXACT serious injury for over a year prior to the incident for which I was retained.

Sadly, rather than clarify, my client became extremely irate — with ME — for daring to ask why for an explanation.

Trust your attorney and share the truth

My rule is simple. If you want me to fight for you, I need pure, total, utter honesty from you. I cannot fight my battles on your behalf with broken weapons.

Whether it’s me, or another attorney, TRUST that attorney enough to handle the truth.