Exploring Social Security Cases and Outcomes

These Four Questions Will Determine How Much A Criminal Record Can Impact Your Injury Case

by Marie Caldwell

Having a criminal past doesn't preclude you from pursuing personal injury damages in case you are injured by another person's actions. However, your criminal past may come back to haunt you in more ways than one. Here are some questions whose answer will determine how much your criminal past affects your present injury case:

When Did the Incident Occur?

Recent criminal convictions are more likely to hurt your case than criminal issues in the distant past. This is because it is easier to believe that you have changed if your last criminal case was many years ago than if you were recently incarcerated; it's even worse if you are currently dealing with a criminal case. Therefore, the vandalism charge you got in college for spray painting a dormitory wall may not affect you as much as the fraud conviction that recently took you to prison for a couple of years.

How Serious Was the Charge?

When it comes to effect on personal injury claims, criminal cases are not the same; some cases are weightier than others. As a rule, the more serious your crime was the more it will affect your pursuit of injury damages. Therefore, an infraction or a misdemeanor is less likely to hurt your case than a felony.

What Type of Crime Is It?

It is not just the seriousness of the crime that matter, but also the type or nature of the crime of which you were convicted. This is important because any crime that casts doubt on your credibility will affect your criminal case a great deal because the judge or jury may think that your present claims are dishonest too. For example, if you were convicted of insurance fraud, it doesn't require a stretch of the imagination to believe that you may be lying about your present injuries too.

Are You Being Tried By a Judge or Jury?

Lastly, whether a judge or jury is handling your injury claim may also be relevant. The distinction is even more important if you were convicted of a crime, but the crime isn't closely related to your present claim. This is because jurors are just ordinary people as far as the law is concerned, and they are more likely to be swayed by emotions than judges who are more likely to use the rule of law.

If you are worried about the effect of your criminal past on your injury case, explain everything to an injury lawyer at firms like McFarland & Masters LLC and let them handle it for you. This is one of those injury cases that you should not attempt on your own.