Providing strong, quality information in a testimony is important in any trial. A strong testimony provides details about a specific incident observed by the witness with an anecdote that represents many other such incidents. A Detroit disability attorney gives some examples below showing the difference between strong and weak lay testimony in disability trials.
Differences between Weak and Strong Lay Testimony
In a case addressing possible seizures, here is an example of weak testimony.
“[Person’s name] has epilepsy.”
A Detroit disability lawyer would point our several flaws in this simple statement. The witness is a layman providing this statement. They are making a conclusion as a layman and not a doctor, leaving the door open for other possible diagnoses. The witness may be embarrassed to learn towards the end of the hearing that the claimant suffers from an organic brain syndrome and not epilepsy.
Good Testimony Describes Accurate Details
Strong testimony in this situation, as pointed out by a Detroit disability attorney, would contain far more descriptive detail as shown below.
“According to his doctor, my son suffers from grand mal epilepsy and [person’s name] actions almost the same as my son’s. The falls, loss of consciousness, biting of his tongue, and loss of bladder control are all symptoms that appear to be seizures.”
A Detroit disability attorney points out how more detailed observations continue to support the testimony.
“When after 25 minutes or so, he recovers, but he appears to be in a daze and has trouble speaking. He appears to be all right after sleeping for a couple of hours. I have seen this happen maybe a dozen times over the past two years.”
Regardless of the label placed on it, a Detroit disability attorney would acknowledge that these types of observations would go far in convincing the Administrative Law Judge that the claimant suffers from a serious seizure disorder.
Observations Are the Key to Strong Testimony
The guidance of a Detroit disability lawyer would help in providing strong testimony at a disability trial. Below is another example of weak and strong testimony in a case involving someone with breathing impairments.
“[Person’s name] has emphysema.”
Again, the witness is making a conclusion about a diagnosis as a layman, not a doctor. A Detroit disability attorney would recommend observational statements as shown in this example.
“[Person’s name] usually sits in a chair by the window much of the day. When I’ve called and his wife is not there to answer the phone, I hear him gasping for breath after walking to answer the phone which is maybe 20 feet away.”
As a Detroit disability lawyer would point out, this sample testimony gives observations from which the Administrative Law Judge could conclude that the claimant has a severe breathing impairment. At this point, as a Detroit disability attorney would confirm, the label could be emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, allergy or tuberculosis but that label is not important at this point. The judge can supply that determination after all the evidence is in.
Clear, observational statements are what make for strong testimony at a disability trial. Call Detroit disability attorney Marc J. Shefman at 248-298-3003 today.