Always, always, always tell the truth. I cannot stress this enough. The cover-up typically gets you in much more hot water than the original problem you had to begin with. How many times have you told that to your children? Well, it applies in the workers’ compensation world as well. The client’s credibility is the crux of any workers’ compensation claim. If a client is not believable, why should a judge grant him benefits under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act?
The context where this largely comes into play is during litigation when it comes to light that the client testifies about lying on the post offer job application. The client typically will tell us privately that they really needed the job when they filled out the application and didn’t think that this would be an issue later on. Usually it is not an issue until they are injured on the job, bring a lawsuit and have to testify. Typically the client will be asked under oath if they had any prior workers’ compensation claims or injuries and they check no on the application, but they had suffered such. When he does, all credibility is lost. If he has misrepresented the truth on the application the case then hangs in the balance.
“When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.” — Mark Twain
There are many things the lawyer can do to rehabilitate his client, but this is one area that attacks his credibility. Even a seasoned litigator cannot properly explain away this fabrication. There is no way around the fact that he lied on the application but now is trying to tell the truth. Game over.
Don’t do it! It makes the client look bad. It makes the lawyer look bad. And at the end of the day it is a big fat waste of time and money for everyone.