We often assume that when a person has witnessed an accident or incident they are willing to be used for testimony in your personal injury case. For some, they are more than happy to provide the testimony in order for you to proceed with receiving compensation for your injuries and your losses. However, it is not unheard of for some witnesses to blackmail the plaintiff or defendant so as to provide testimony in exchange for some form of compensation. This article will discuss when a witness blackmails a plaintiff or defendant in a personal injury case.
It must be noted that any blackmail used to provide testimony in exchange for some monetary compensation is considered witness tampering or may fall under a similar unethical practice. If you find yourself in this situation your immediate reaction should be to speak to your legal representation from attorneys and law firms in Wasilla, AK before making any decision.
The truth of the matter is if an individual linked to your case refuses to testify it likely will affect the outcome of your lawsuit, depending on what information and evidence they have. When an individual intimidates, blackmails or extorts a person even when it comes to providing testimony these are criminal actions. Hence, the need to speak to your lawyer about it as he or she is likely to know better as to the best way of handling it.
If the civil case has gone to court, each side likely has specific witnesses they need to provide testimony on different topics or related to the claim. The plaintiff or defendant may subpoena [Subpoena | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] the witness in order for them to provide testimony. Their refusal to provide testimony may come with certain penalties for them. In addition, if the witness lies while providing testimony this could lead to charges of perjury [Perjury | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)]. Further, if the witness tries to blackmail the plaintiff or defendant into giving them money this could result in charges being made against the witness. It could lead to criminal charges of blackmail or extortion being filed against them.
There are some instances whereby the plaintiff or defendant capitulates to the demands of the witness requesting monetary compensation for their testimony. Whether this is the case or not blackmail is illegal and can lead to criminal charges against the witness. Therefore, consider the matter and gather appropriate evidence and contact the appropriate authorities on this matter. If you already have legal representation and are part of legal proceedings speak to the lawyer that you already hired. The lawyer knows who to contact and what to do in such instances.
During legal proceedings if the witness tries to blackmail you it is possible for the legal team to motion [Motion | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] the judge to treat the witness as hostile based on their behavior. Especially so, when the witness does not support the claim appropriately unless they are paid more money. It is important to always be open with your legal representative and inform them of any complications or likely complications that may result from a witness who is important to the case.