Hello everybody. Hello everybody on Facebook and for those
watching on the replay. I am Gerry Oginski, I’m a New York medical
malpractice and personal injury attorney. Today’s topic is; have you filed your tax
return? Today is the last day to do so. Today is April, April what? It’s April 18th. Today is the last day to file your taxes without
seeking an extension or penalties. How are you everybody? Welcome to Facebook. Today you are going to learn about whether
you have to answer the question in a civil lawsuit about whether – hey Steve, nice to
see you, welcome. Hey nice to see you. Okay, so today we’re going to learn about
whether you have to answer the key question in a civil lawsuit about whether or not you
filed tax returns. Now, why is that a big deal? Well, let me step back for a second and I
want to explain something really useful and useful in terms of being important for you
and your potential case. So let’s say you decide, not decide, let’s
say you were injured by someone who is careless. It might be a careless driver, it might be
a careless doctor, and now you decide to bring a lawsuit against that careless person or
entity, whether it’s a hospital, a doctor’s staff. Hey, nice to see you Steve, that’s great. Want to know? Okay. Gordon, nice to see you, welcome, thank you
for the thumbs up, this is great guys. Gordon today I’m asking the question, today’s
the last day in which to file a tax return for you without getting penalized, right? Or seeking an extension. So, in a civil lawsuit, thank you so much
for the thumbs up, the question always is, “Hey, Mr Jones, did you file your tax returns
for the past three years?” And if you didn’t, now you have a question,
now you have a problem. So, let me step back for a second, okay? I can’t step back much further but what I
want to explain is in a civil lawsuit, where you are now putting your medical condition
in issue, most of the time an injured victim will ask to get compensated for not just for
their pain and suffering in the past and not just the suffering and the pain they’re going
to endure into the foreseeable future but for their lost income, for their lost wages,
for other expenses that had to pay. And during the course of your trial, not your
trial, let me go back for a second. During the course of your litigation the defense
will have an opportunity to question you in a question and answer session, known legally
as a deposition. It’s really pre-trial testimony and it carries
the same exact weight as if you are at trial. So let me explain. So this takes place in your lawyer’s office. The defense attorney has an opportunity to
go ahead and question you, there’s no judge there, there’s no jury there, but there is
a court reporter there to record all of your questions and all of the answers. So now, once that happens-
Hey brain nice to see you, we’re talking about taxes. Today is the end of tax day, not tax day,
today is the last day to file your tax returns if you have not done so already. And now transitioning into whether or not
you have to answer that key question of, do you have to answer the question of whether
you paid your taxes, not paid, let me start this again. The question, the proper question is, “Hey,
Mr Jones, did you file your tax returns for the past three years?” That’s the question, you have to answer that. Yes, or no. So, here we are, we’re in the pre-trial litigation
process and now the defense has an opportunity to go ahead and try and question you about
the events that occurred, the events leading up to your particular matter, the events that
occurred during your incident, and now what occurred afterwards. And now, as part of your lawsuit, you bring
a claim for not only your pain and suffering but you also bring a claim for your lost wages,
for your income loss, for what you were earning before and now you’re trying to show that
you cannot earn that type of income now. Okay, that’s fine. And now let me take a quick unsponsored water
break from today it’s Poland Spring. All right, so, you’re now asked that question. If you are unprepared for that question, Andy
nice to see you, how are you? Today we’re talking about whether you have
to answer the question of whether or not you filed tax returns in a civil lawsuit where
you’re seeking money as a form of compensation for somebody’s carelessness. So now, we’re at the pre-trial question and
answer session. The defense lawyer representing the person
or people you have sued are now questioning you in your lawyer’s office. There’s no judge there, there’s no jury there
but there is a court reporter there to record all of the defense lawyer’s questions and
all of your answers, and you should know that your answers carry the same exact weight as
if you are testifying at trial a year later. So even if there’s no judge there everything
you say is recorded, and don’t think that you can turn around to somebody or your attorney
and say- Thanks, thumbs up Andy, I appreciate that. Don’t think that you can turn around and say,
“Hey, this is off the record.” It’s not, until your attorney says it’s off
the record and you go out for a break. So, during the course of this question and
answer session, known as a deposition, we also call it an examination before trial,
one of the questions that the defense lawyer will ask, if you are claiming that you lost
earnings as a result of someone’s improper actions. The defense lawyer’s going to ask, “Hey, Mr
Jones, did you file tax returns in the last three years?” Good point on cases involving lost income
damages, Steve, that’s exactly the point I’m trying to make here. I want to show everybody how important this
is, because if you are claiming that you lost income as a result of your injuries, now the
defense is actually entitled to learn more about that. They’re entitles to learn what you were earning
before, they’re entitled to learn what you’re earning now, they’re entitled to learn what
your future earning capacity is going to be, because of your impaired ability to earn a
living, and now one of the ways that they try and learn information about that is by
asking, “Hey, Mr Jones, did you file your tax returns?” Now, if you didn’t you’re going to have a
problem. You’re going to have a significant problem
because now you raise all sorts of implications. There’s an implication that you may have engaged
in some sort of criminal conduct by hiding your income from the IRS, that’s one implication. The other implication is that you didn’t owe
any money, so therefore you didn’t go ahead and file your taxes. That’s not a great answer, that’s not a great
excuse. But the defense wants to ask that simple through
away question, “Hey, did you file your taxes?” And they’re expecting that the answer is always,
“Yes, I did.” Well, guess what? Not everybody files taxes like you, not everybody
is supposed to do what they’re supposed to do by the deadline, April 15th. Today it’s April 18th, it’s been extended
a few days because Washington DC celebrates a holiday, that’s why it was extended an extra
day or two, actually an extra day because it’s only on business days. Anyway, so, now if you have not filed your
tax returns, you’re going to have a problem showing that you are more likely right than
wrong that you had lost income. How are you going to do that? Well maybe you had W2 forms, maybe your employer
paid you in the form and at the end of the year gave you a W2 form to put in your tax
return. Maybe you are independent contractor so you
got a 1099 form. Whatever it was you got paid now you have
to show the defense, “Hey look, this is what I got paid last year, this is what I got paid
two years ago, this is what I got paid three years ago, and now because I can’t work I
lost all this income.” But now, let’s say for a moment that you were
getting paid in cash. Let’s say you had a business or were working
for a business- Andy, how are you? Plus it was Patriot’s Day up there in Massachusetts,
that’s right, that’s absolutely correct. Let’s say you get paid in cash and for whatever
reason you chose not to disclose all of your earnings to the Internal Revenues Service. Well, now you’ve got a bigger problem, now
under oath you are testifying about your income. They’re going to ask you how much you earned,
they’re going to ask you how much you declared in income and how much taxes you paid, and
if you have not disclosed all of your income, if you have not disclosed that you have paid
your taxes, now you’re going to have a bigger problem and one that may rise to a criminal
level, and that creates a very thorny problem you. So, the better practice is make sure you get
all your tax returns in on time, do what you have to do, follow your accountant’s instructions,
that’s the better practice. But, here’s one of the things that I’ve seen
attorneys do because it will eliminate this issue in the event you have not filed your
taxes and now are trying to claim lost earnings. One of the things that you’re likely going
to have to do is withdraw your claim for lost earnings, even though it may be substantial,
because if you don’t the defense is going to do everything possible to show that you,
my friend, are a liar. Thank you so much for that thumbs up. They’re going to show that you are being less
than truthful, they’re going to show that you have defrauded the Internal Revenues Service
and the United States Government. Do you really want to have that scenario when
you’re in front of a jury trying to show that you are more likely right than wrong? That, let’s say, a doctor violated the basic
standards of medical care causing you significant harm and injury? Hey Ed, nice to see you, thank you so much
for saying “Excellent video.” I appreciate that. Well that’s the key point, you don’t want
to be in that position, and you know why? Because the most important thing that occurs
in your particular trial is, it’s not the facts, it’s not the facts at all, and it’s
not the law. The most important thing that occurs in your
particular trial is intangible, and it’s something that you may not even consider. It’s called your credibility. And if you destroy your own credibility by
trying to hide certain things and now it becomes evident to everybody around and the defense
attorneys that you are trying to conceal your income, trying to conceal and trying to hide
money that you should have paid taxes on, now all of a sudden the jury’s going to see
that. And they will be told at the end of a case
that if you have lied about one little thing they are entitled to throw out all of your
testimony, all of it. That’s a legal instruction the judge will
tell them about, and in law we call that falsus in uno, that’s a fancy Latin phrase, which
basically says if you lie about one little thing the jury has the right to disregard
what you said about that one thing, plus they also have the right to disregard everything
you’ve said. And if that happens, you know what happens
to you and your credibility? I’ll tell you what happens to you and your
credibility, your credibility goes out the window, and your case is almost over because
now you’ve got a total uphill battle trying to overcome your own credibility problem all
because you decided to try and hide some money from the IRS. Now you’ve brought a lawsuit, you’re testifying
under oath, the defense attorney wants to know, “Hey, Mr Jones, did you file your taxes?” And by the way, if you have filed your taxes
the defense is entitled to and will get copies of your income tax records for the last three
years, which means they’re going to go through it with a fine toothed comb to try and identify
things that you said were true and things that maybe were not so true. What were your deductions, what weren’t they? They’re going to go through it line by line
to make sure that everything you did was on the up and up, and if it’s not they’re going
to come back and use that in cross examination when you get up at trial and now try and get
the jury to understand that you’re entitled to a verdict in your favor. So, let’s go back to the headline of this
video, which is: hey listen, today is tax day. Today is the last day in which to file your
taxes, and if you haven’t done it or haven’t filed an extension and you plan on bringing
a lawsuit in the future and claiming lost earnings, you should be filing those taxes. And if you haven’t done it you should be asking
for an extension and going ahead and getting that done because you don’t want to be in
that position where now you’re ina pre-trial question and answer session, the defense attorney
asks you that innocuous question and says, “Hey Mr Jones, have you filed your taxes for
the past three years?” And you want to be able to turn around and
say, “Yes I have.” And now you’ll be able to send them, show
them those three years worth of tax records and now you don’t have a problem. Now you can prove that you are more likely
right than wrong, that you had significant lost earnings, and you go on from there. So, why do I share this quick information
with you on this beautiful day today here in Great Neck on tax day? I do it because I want you to understand how
these types of cases work, and especially it’s relevant for people who are writing out
their forms, who are paying their taxes, and now you’re going ahead and thinking that you
may have a valid basis for a case. Well, let me share something with you. If your matter did happen here in New York,
and you’re thinking about bringing a lawsuit but haven’t done so yet because you still
have questions that need to be answered, what I encourage you to do is pick up the phone
and call me. I can answer your legal questions, this is
something I do every single day and I’d love to chat with you. You can reach me at 516-487-8207, or by email
at [email protected] Aaron, nice to see you. You can come watch the replay and you’ll learn
all about whether or not you have to answer the question about, “Hey, Mr Jones, did you
file your tax return for the past three years?” in a civil lawsuit. All right everybody, I’m Gerry Oginski, I
hope you have a wonderful day today, bye-bye everybody.