We like keeping our posts in tune with current events here at the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog. We do our best to relate topics in personal injury law to current events as best we can. Sometimes global or local news themes dovetail nicely with personal injury law and how Courts work.
So for this instalment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog, we thought it very interesting to discuss the American Presidential Election, and how it relates to personal injury law.
One of the most common complaints hear about the candidates for President; Donald Trump and Joe Biden; is that they lie, stretch the truth, or take liberties with the truth.
This is done so much that reporters have made careers out of fact checking politicians like Donald Trump. Toronto’s very own Daniel Dale leap frogged from local reporter at the Toronto Star, to Washington correspondent at the Toronto Star; to chief fact checker of Donal Trump at CNN and now has 1.1 million Twitter Followers.
This is the very same Daniel Dale who received an apology from the late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford over some comments which were later proven to be false.
To go from reporting on the Mayor of the City of Toronto all the way to fact checking the Leader of the Free World in the President of the United States is a huge jump. And Mr. Dale paved his way reporting on the President of the United States by doing one simple thing right; fact checking to report the truth.
So when you hear the Presidential Candidates for both parties make bold statements like we have the best of this; or the best plan for that; or report numbers; there’s a team of fact checkers to verify the accuracy of those claims.
Politicians do this sort of thing to get votes to get elected to power. They aren’t on the stand when they give their broad proclamations. They haven’t sworn on the Bible or given a solemn affirmation that everything that they say will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There is no judge to stop them from speaking to correct their statements, elaborate or the better explain themselves because what they said didn’t sound accurate. The politicians are free to speak their truths without stoppage or dispute. Whether or not you accept their stories and proclamations is up to you.
Here is a Tweet from Daniel Dale not too long ago:
Unlike in politics, at law it’s very important to tell the truth. It’s very important not to lie. It’s very important not to embellish events and not to stretch out the truth. Most personal injury cases are based on credibility. Often a Plaintiff’s injury are invisible. This means that they won’t show up on a x-ray, MRI, or CT Scan. The pain of the Plaintiff is also subjective. It’s impossible for a Judge or Jury to live a day in the life of the Plaintiff in his/her own shoes.
It’s for these reasons that it’s important for a Plaintiff to present as credible and likeable. If the Judge or Jury don’t accept the Plaintiff’s version of events and pain symptoms, then the Plaintiff will not succeed at trial.
In the event that the Defendant insurer is able to establish that the Plaintiff is a liar, or has embellished the details of their story, it’s very likely that the Defendant will succeed in defending the claim. The Plaintiff’s damages
will be reduced significantly, or they will be completely shut out at trial.
In the event that a Plaintiff is shown to lie about one thing or another; then perhaps s/he isn’t telling the truth about something more significant like how the accident happened, their level of pain or their level of functionality.
Insurance companies love to play the lack of credibility card in order to defeat a Plaintiff’s claim. They know that a non credible Plaintiff is simply not believable by a Judge or Jury and they will fail to succeed at trial.
Knowing this; how do you think the Presidential Candidates would perform on the stand in giving their version of the truth? How do you think your local politicians would perform? Some would likely do better than others, but the pressure is completely different.
Liars who are proven to be obstructing justice can be held in contempt of Court and face serious penalties.
The hard thing to grasp is that innocent accident victims are held up to higher truth telling standards compared to public officials seeking election to the White House or House of Commons.
In politics, you can promise anything you’d like to your constituents in an effort to get elected. A politician can promise to lower taxes, free Pizza and Beer once a month, a universal basic income, greater health care along with new electric cars for really cheap. All of these promises sound fantastic. But once in office, the politician can then turn around and go back on their promises stating that they simply aren’t attainable for whatever reason they want. We commonly see politicians win office only to reverse their promises blaming the previous government. Claiming that the previous government left the nation in a complete stated of disrepair and now some major housekeeping needs to be done. As a result, the current government cannot deliver on any of their election promises. But don’t worry, after a few years once we clean everything up we’ll be able to get everyone that free pizza and beer while reducing taxes and lower the cost of electric vehicles.
An innocent accident victim
on the stand at trial doesn’t have the same luxury to say one thing and do another. The Judge and opposing lawyer will immediately call them out on their lie or misinformation. That Plaintiff will look foolish and lose all credibility with the Court. Their case will fail because they were approaching the trial like a campaign instead of a search for the truth in a Courtroom.