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Credibility Makes or Breaks a Florida Personal Injury Case

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Jan 08, 2013 | 0 Comments

Florida medical malpractice and personal injury lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, discusses how credibility makes or breaks a Florida personal injury case

The longer I do this work and the more people I assist who have been injured by medical malpractice or by accident, the more I realize that all cases come down to the credibility of injured party or plaintiff.  In my view, nothing else really matters.  Insurance companies and juries will give money to injury victims that have a credible story.  On the other hand, insurance companies and juries will not give money to folks they believes are not credible or are trying to pull a fast one.

Definition of Credibility

Webster's defines credibility as the “quality of inspiring belief” or “capacity for belief.”  That's right.  Credibility has to do with the ability to believe the injured person's story from beginning to end.  Let's take a look at what Florida's jury instructions say about credibility or believability.

Let me speak briefly about witnesses. In evaluating the believability of any witness and the weight you will give the testimony of any witness, you may properly consider the demeanor of the witness while testifying; the frankness or lack of frankness of the witness; the intelligence of the witness; any interest the witness may have in the outcome of the case; the means and opportunity the witness had to know the facts about which the witness testified; the ability of the witness to remember the matters about which the witness testified; and the reasonableness of the testimony of the witness, considered in the light of all the evidence in the case and in the light of your own experience and common sense.

Credibility and the Personal Injury Case

I like to analogize a personal injury case to a block of ice.  The insurance company and the defense attorneys keep chipping away at the injured party's credibility until it undermines their believability.  They do it because it works.  They have many tools at their disposal:

  • Inconsistencies in the injured person's medical records
  • Inconsistencies in the injured person's testimony
  • Client attempting to hide or minimize prior accidents, injuries or medical treatment
  • Client attempting to oversell their case or their injuries

The more an insurance company or an insurance company's attorney can develop these inconsistencies, the more it will assist their defense and hurt the injured person's case.  On the other hand, if the injured person is truthful, consistent and owns some of the weaknesses in their own case, they will be credible in the eyes of the insurance company or jury and will receive fair and just compensation for their injuries.

If you have any questions about a Florida medical malpractice or personal injury case, call Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168 .

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+

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