If you are pursuing an injury lawsuit, you participate in a legal process known as discovery. This is the process where both parties to a lawsuit obtain evidence from each other via different processes such as the request for documents or depositions (making statements under oath). You need to be utterly honest during discovery. Here are some of the consequences to expect if you lie:
You Make Your Attorney's Job Difficult
Your attorney needs to know everything about your case to litigate your lawsuit properly. Lying to your lawyer or the other party, therefore, makes it difficult for the attorney to do their job. For example, the approach your lawyer will take when you declare pre-existing injuries is different from the approach they will take if you lie about such injuries. Whatever complicates your attorney's job is bad for you because it prolongs your case and increases its expenses too.
You Give the Opposing Party Ammunition
Lying during discovery is a perfect way of arming the defendant. This is because chances are very high that you won't get away with the lie; you will be found it. If the defendant's attorney discovers the lie before your lawyer, they may use it to ambush your lawyer. Your lawyer will tell you that few things are as damaging as going to court and facing another lawyer who knows something they don't know.
You May Lose the Case
Depending on the severity of your lies and how it affects the case, the court may have no option but to dismiss your case. This may seem extreme, which is why it is a last minute option reserved for the severest cases. For example, if you have been lying again and again, and your injuries aren't as severe as you have been claiming, the judge may dismiss your case.
You May Face Criminal Charges
Many people will probably consider this as the worst consequences of committing perjury during discovery. Again, such extreme measures are usually reserved for severe cases. For example, the defendant may pursue criminal cases against you if you have been lying to them for a long time and the lies have cost them serious resources. Losing such a criminal cases can attract both monetary fines and prison time.
In short, prepare to be utterly honest not only during the discovery but also during the entire case. In fact, expect your life to be put under scrutiny by the opposing party; it's a good idea to volunteer any information (to your lawyer) you suspect may jeopardize your case. Talk with an attorney like those at The Bernstein Law Firm for more information.