We all know that "honesty is the best policy" in our daily lives. Unfortunately, some people forget that rule when it comes to their personal injury case where being truthful is just as important. According to a recent report by ICBC, an estimated 10%-15% of personal injury claims are either fraudulent or exaggerated. Here are the top ten reasons to tell the truth in your personal injury case:
10) ICBC is Watching You. ICBC's report reveals the lengths that ICBC is prepared to go to sniff out fraud including special investigation units, private investigators, science and technology
9) Social Media: Remember that Facebook picture of you water skiing in Mexico? ICBC has probably seen it. In a recent case, a plaintiff claimed debilitating neck injuries from a car accident. Unfortunately for the plaintiff, ICBC found her blog detailing her 6 month motorcycle trip over rough terrain through South America. The judge ultimately awarded the plaintiff only $12,000 - 2/3 less than her claim.
8) Criminal Charges: Lying in your personal injury claim is serious business. Defrauding the public or a person of money or property is a criminal offence and could result in jail time.
7) You Will Be Under Oath: Lying under normal circumstances is always reckless. However, lying under oath can have serious consequences including perjury charges.
6) It Can Cost You: In another recent ICBC fraud file, a customer lied and claimed his car was parked outside his home and hit by an unknown vehicle. In fact, the customer had been involved in a hit-and-run car accident and had fled the scene. When confronted with evidence that proved he was lying, he admitted to making a false claim. He was ultimately found guilty to providing a false statement relating to an ICBC claim, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay ICBC back more than $5,600 in claims costs.
5) The Truth Makes Your Case Stronger: Lawyers, judges and insurance companies often evaluate the strength of a case by the witnesses. If you are credible and honest, it helps you and your case.
4) Lies Complicate: Learn from George Costanza - don't get caught in your own web of lies.
3) You Could Lose Your Lawyer: Lawyers rely on their clients to be truthful so they can give proper advice. Failing to be upfront with your lawyer puts your lawyer in a difficult position if the truth later comes out. Lawyers also have professional obligations that prohibit them from knowingly deceiving or misrepresenting the facts to the court.
2) Peace of Mind: Personal injury cases can take years to resolve. The stress of lying will inevitably get to you.
1) Your Credibility is Everything: Your credibility is the most valuable thing you have in your professional and social life - don't destroy it over a personal injury.
For more information on ICBC's top 2014 fraud files, click here.