If you have been injured and there is a possibility you may bring a lawsuit, you must be absolutely honest. No lies. No exaggerations. The insurance companies have huge databases, and they will spend some time researching your injuries and case if it will help them avoid having to pay you. They will find medical records that you don’t even remember. They may interview your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and even your ex-husband or ex-wife. They may follow you around with a video camera. You simply cannot get away with lying, nor should you try.
If you plan to lie because you think you will get more money, no honest lawyer will want to work with you. We know there are dishonest lawyers out there, but we encourage everyone to find a lawyer who can get compensation for clients without resorting to tricks and deceit. If you ever have a lawyer ask you to lie, please report that lawyer to the Oregon State Bar.
For example, maybe you were an avid gardener before your accident and you spent many hours each weekend in your garden, and now you are reduced to taking a stool outside and clipping flowers for a few minutes before the pain stops you. You might be tempted to say “I can’t garden anymore.” But then the insurance company could show a videotape of you sitting on your stool clipping flowers, and you look like a liar. It’s better to say, “I can’t garden for 10 hours a week like I used to. Now I can only sit on a stool and clip flowers.” A moderate injury will not force you to completely stop doing an activity; the injury just makes it much harder.
Now, most people do not intend to lie, but exaggerating or even understating your injuries can hurt your case. So when you bring a personal injury case, you must be 100% honest with your doctors, with your lawyer (if you have one), and with the other side (whom you should not talk to at all without your lawyer there). The insurance company may not be honest with you- that makes no difference. The insurance company adjuster is not going to be on trial. You are.
The most valuable resource in your case is your credibility. If you lose that, you will lose your case.