Can a Criminal Record Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

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Can a Criminal Record Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

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If you are injured in an accident, and you have a criminal record, can it negatively affect your personal injury claim?

An Overview Criminal Records & Personal Injury Claims:

Even if the crime is entirely unrelated to your personal injury claim, most people tend to consider any criminal record negative. Generally speaking, the less serious offenses and crimes that occurred long ago will have less impact on your current personal injury case. If you have a criminal record and you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, tell the truth and provide the details of the crime/conviction, but hire an experienced attorney to assist you in seeking fair compensation. If you have a serious crime or crimes on your record, an experienced attorney may suggest that you waive a jury trial and allow a judge to decide your personal injury case.

When Personal Injury Claims Are Added to Criminal Records:

Many people have a criminal record, but when a criminal record is combined with a recently filed personal injury claim, they often have new questions. Like, how could a criminal record impact personal injury litigation? How could a criminal record affect the outcome of a personal injury case?

Criminal Records & Personal Injury: What Factors Come Into Play

Past crimes are usually wholly unrelated to the current personal injury claim. Still, even when the two are unrelated, the typical person will view a criminal record in a negative light. Since personal injury case juries that determine the plaintiff’s personal injury award are typically made up of average people, you can assume that the jury will see any criminal record in a negative light. The question is now negatively could this be for your personal injury claim? 

What Was the Crime and How Long Ago Was the Conviction?

The negative effect of a criminal record on your personal injury case will depend on the nature of the crime and how long ago the crime or conviction occurred. If a personal injury plaintiff was charged with a DUI over a decade ago, the impact on a current personal injury claim should be minimal. In most cases, the less serious the crime, and the more time that has passed since it occurred, the less negative impact you can expect for a current personal injury case. 

What If the Crime Affecting My Personal Injury Claim Was Serious?

If a personal injury plaintiff was convicted of a felony or any crime involving dishonesty or fraud, it’s more likely that it would negatively impact their personal injury case. The average jury doesn’t want to give money to a plaintiff with a past crime involving deceit or a record of severe criminal misconduct unless they are also shown clear evidence that the person changed completely. Due to this societal tendency, more recent convictions will have a more negative effect because it is more challenging to prove a change in a shorter time. For example, most juries would be supremely suspicious of the plaintiff’s overall character if they were convicted of art forgery in the year preceding their personal injury filing.

If you have a criminal record and you need to file a Texas personal injury claim, don’t wait! Get in touch with Carrollton’s Hudson Law Firm immediately. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.