How a Criminal Record Can Affect a Personal Injury Case
When you start preparing for a personal injury case, you’ll be surprised at what can be used against you by the opposing side’s legal team. Social media posts after an accident can be twisted to make it look like you’re lying about your injuries. If you’re seen grocery shopping, they’ll use it as proof that your’e not actually in pain.
What about your criminal history? If you have a criminal record, it’s likely that you’re worried about going to court, even when you are the plaintiff. Those wondering about how their criminal record could affect their personal injury case should discuss their concerns with a personal injury attorney.
What is Right Isn’t Always the Same as What’s Legal
First, there’s one point that must be made. What is right is not always the same as what is right. If your case goes to court and your criminal history is brought up by the other side, the jury shouldn’t use that irrelevant information to determine the outcome of your case. Legally, they are only supposed to consider what is relevant to your case.
However, that doesn’t mean that your criminal history will not affect the jury’s decision. People are easily misled, and even if they try to ignore that information, it may still impact their decision. That’s why your attorney will try to ensure that the other side cannot bring this information up to discredit you.
If your criminal history does come up in court, there is a risk that it will weaken your credibility. People tend to look at those with criminal histories as less trustworthy and reliable, even if the criminal charges occurred many years ago.
The Type of Offense Matters
Weakened credibility is a risk, but how much it affects your case depends largely on what type of criminal offense you have. For example, a fraud conviction can be devastating to your personal injury case. To a jury, this type of conviction indicates that you have no issue lying to benefit yourself. If your conviction is relatively recent, that fact may be even worse for your case, as people are unlikely to believe that you’ve had a change of heart.
The type of personal injury case you have may also influence the jury’s decision. Consider, for example, a plaintiff with multiple DUIs in their history who gets hurt in a car accident. They were completely sober at the time of the accident and the accident was entirely the other person’s fault.
Despite this, the fact that the plaintiff has a history of drunk driving may make the jury look down on them and think of them as less worthy of compensation. They may even wonder if the plaintiff was drinking before the accident.
No matter what your criminal history contains, do not take this lightly. You may think it’s impossible to tie your criminal history into your personal injury case, but a skilled attorney can work wonders and do serious damage to your case.
Building a Strong Personal Injury Case
Beyond getting information about your criminal history suppressed in court, the best thing your personal injury attorney can do is create the strongest personal injury case possible. If a case is strong enough, it won’t matter that you have a criminal history; the facts of the case will stand for themselves and place fault squarely on the other party.
This is why it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the extent of your criminal history. Don’t try to hide your convictions from them; they will only be blindsided when it eventually comes to light. If you re honest with them about your personal injury claim and your criminal history, they will do everything in their power to secure a positive outcome for you.
Let Us Help With Your Personal Injury Case
If you want the best possible outcome for your personal injury case, don’t try to take on the other side’s legal team alone. Trust Pack Law Group with your case. Our team of attorneys fights vigorously on behalf of each client to help them get what they deserve. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can start working for you. Call us at 540-586-7225 or reach out online.