"Slip and fall cases are always challenging."
Any potential client that has ever come to our office, sat down in our conference room with us, and talked to Bob and me about their injury after a slip and fall incident has heard us utter this phrase.
We usually go on to explain that, under normal circumstances, slip and fall cases are difficult because there is almost always an argument available to the store or property owner that the pedestrian (the person who fell) was not carefully watching where they were walking. Whether this argument is valid or not in any particular circumstance, it is raised in virtually every slip and fall case. Over many years of defending slip and fall cases, insurance company lawyers have learned that this argument is convincing to many jurors - as many slip and fall trial end in defense verdicts.
Seemingly Caught Red-Handed
When our clients are faced with claims that are difficult to win already, they don't need any extraneous factors making things even more challenging. Unfortunately, we have people like the man depicted in the video below.
At first blush, most people would probably say, “What do your clients have to worry about? You don’t take cases like this, and you don’t represent fakers and frauds. So this video should have nothing to do with your firm's clients.” This is, of course, true. Bob and I have been handling personal injury cases a long time (almost 50 years combined), and we have worked very hard to earn and protect our professional reputations. Insurance companies and their lawyers typically treat our clients very fairly.
The problem with videos like this is the future jurors see them. (This is probably why insurance companies leak them to news agencies.) Next week, or next month, or next year, somewhere a person who saw the video of this faker will be summoned for jury duty. If that person happens to be seated as a jurur on a slip and fall case, seeing that video might make that juror question the credibility of the pedestrian just a little bit more than he or she otherwise would have. Subconsciously, the juror who saw the video might favor the defense just a little bit more than the person claiming injury from a fall. If the insurance industry can make this happen in slip and fall cases across the nation, then leaking this video will have been a success.
Obviously, the video of this fraud would never be admitted as evidence in anybody else's case. But it could still have a negative effect on jurors - which makes all plaintiff's slip and fall cases potentially even more difficult.
If you have questions following a real slip and fall accident, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.