The Truth, The (Sort of) Whole Truth, and Some Giant Lies Thrown In — You Be the Judge

The word fake changing to fact with wooden cubes.Back in 2013, my blog examined truth tellers and liars, and talked about how jurors in a personal injury case (and the public) discern which are which.

There, I examined some rather infamous liars, including Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Manti Te’o, and, of course, Lance Armstrong. We looked at how one could be so publicly forthright about something while knowing it to be false, yet be perceived by the public (at least for a time) to be telling the truth.

That was all before the events of 2016.

Jurors and the Public Since 2016

Whatever your political or personal views of Donald Trump, you have to admit the guy has some serious chutzpah. He has been shown to lie so regularly, so blatantly, and so repeatedly, that even his defenders acknowledge these misstatements to be a fact of life. Yet those who support him often do not hold this lack of truthfulness against him. In fact, some view it as a badge of honor, perceived as a bold resistance to convention.

As a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney and human being on the planet in 2019, it makes me wonder exactly what jurors view as “the truth,” and on what they base that.

Facts, Lies, and Fake News

There was a time when a lawyer put a document into evidence during trial, it was presumed to be fact-based and real. These days, however, it may not be so cut and dried. Jurors are now bombarded by manipulated images on their social media pages, told things that are blatantly untrue (to be fair, President Obama did say “you can keep your health insurance,” even though that wasn’t true), or told that things that are true are “fake news,” by the leader of the free world, President Trump.

How human beings (and jurors are chosen from that pool of human beings, as are defense attorneys, insurance adjusters, and witnesses) perceive documents, statements, and even the witnesses and attorneys who present the evidence is the million-dollar issue for lawyers, their clients, and society.

Credibility in 2019 and Beyond

Why should anyone believe anything?

We live in a skeptical age. Not only do people want to see documentary or video evidence to support sworn testimony, they also may reject that information as factual for a variety of reasons, including personal bias or some other perception.

As a lawyer, my job is to educate people, explaining why something is true or not true, and provide a basis for that assertion. That may not be a huge challenge with a judge, but with some clients, and certainly with some jurors, it sure can be a problem.

What is the solution? Provide multiple bases for every point (video, oral, documentary). Have more than one witness support a particular point (client, doctor, etc.).

While there is no real solution or ability to “turn back the clock” on the way people perceive things, all is not lost. Despite this inherent skepticism in nearly all of society, many “correct” or factually based decisions are made daily by a wide variety of people, including jurors. We all work hard to sift through things and hopefully arrive at a just conclusion.

All of this is an important reason that you need an attorney to navigate your personal injury case.

Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman

As in all cases involving injury and potential liability, if you have been hit by a vehicle, immediately get medical treatment, report the crash to police and your own insurance company, and contact a lawyer with expertise in your type of case, such as bicycle accidents or pedestrians hit by cars.

If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He is listed as a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited. He is also an Executive Level Member of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Stephen handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront, and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day, contact Stephen now.

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