After a slip and fall that required surgery, I retained an attorney and filed a personal injury suit against the corporation. At the time of the injury I filled out an Onsight Incident report. I wrote on the form that I was hurt bad and in a lot of pain. During discovery, we were sent a copy of this Incident Report. The verbiage had been changed to read, "Subject said he had fallen but was okay". My signature on the form was also forged. I brought this to the attention of my attorneys but they said it was not relevant to my case. It seems to me that this is a clear case of Spoliation of Evidence. My attorneys did not want me to bring this up during my deposition and I didn't. I did retain a well respected forgery expert to give me his opinion and he said there is no doubt that my signature was forged and would be happy to testify as to such.

Does anyone have any suggestions or feedback on this situation? If so, it would be appreciated. I believe I might want to change attorneys.

Thank You

  • 1
    Did he say why this was not relevant to your case?
    – user6726
    Dec 19, 2017 at 1:26
  • 1
    Said if we go to trial he doesn't want the jury thinking about something immaterial, such as a forged signature and a fictitious. In my mind it is going to come down to who they believe. It will be about credibility. We destroy their credibility with the fictitious incident report and the forgery.
    – Randy B.
    Dec 19, 2017 at 2:43
  • He might not want to go off on a tangent related to that report if he's going to show that the fall required surgery anyway and that's what he expects them to pay for. Heck, he could spin the lack of pain to show the fall was so bad you were in shock. Dec 19, 2017 at 15:29
  • Thanks, Brian. I really believe it is going to come down to credibility. Will they believe me or them? They will use this altered and forged document "against me". Why did I say I was okay and then go to the ER two days later, is the question they will ask. I think the altered document and forged signature will absolutely destroy their credibility.
    – Randy B.
    Dec 20, 2017 at 2:26
  • It is possible that the document is not admissible for reasons unrelated to the forgery. If so, it may detract from other issues in the case. There may also be a timing element as to when to challenge a forged document that is most advantageous. I would ask some specific questions about how the document may change the course of the court case before you decide how to proceed to ensure you fully understand the issues the document presents. During depositions, you should probably not bring up any material the other side doesn't directly ask about, so that was probably a good call, IMHO.
    – David
    Dec 20, 2017 at 4:41

2 Answers 2


If you employ a professional, it is precisely beacuse he knows more about the area than you do; in this case not how to show the other side are untrustworthy, but specifically how to win this suit. You can (and probably should, assuming you are happy to pay for the time) ask your attorney how and whether he is going to use the evidence of fraud, but that is all. Nobody who is not a specialist in this area and also has read the papers can tell you the reasons for this decision, but every lawyer has encountered clients who disagree with the advice given, usually for insufficient reason. If you lose the case when the evidence of fraud would have meant that you won, you can sue your attorney; but it is not negligent to decide not to use certain facts, much less not to use them in a particular deposition.

Changing attorneys is your privilege at any time, but you need to decide why you are doing so. If it is because you disagree with this decision, you are putting your knowledge of the law above your attorney's; is it likely that another lawyer will take the oppsite view? If so, will that attorney be trying his best to win the case, or just to take your fee and do whatever you say?

  • If your attorney is there to only do what you want to do, then your attorney is only as good as you. I'm assuming you're not a lawyer so it'll probably not go too well.
    – Nelson
    Sep 1, 2020 at 7:32

When you sign up for a contingency case (like a personal injury or accident case you mentioned) it's important to understand it's not that easy to switch attorneys. Your present lawyer invests into your case in the form of billable hours and fees with the expectation of a future reward. So, you basically let him or her down.

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