Sunday, July 15, 2012

Does A Prior Felony Conviction Affect My Ohio Car Accident Claim?

What does a prior felony conviction have to do with your Ohio auto accident injury claim? Plenty, if your felony conviction was a "crime of dishonesty."  Under our rules of evidence, convictions for crimes of dishonesty are admissible to "impeach the credibility" of any witness, and that includes you if you take the stand and testify in your Ohio personal injury claim.

What is a "crime of dishonesty?" Theft, perjury, falsification (filing a false police report), and criminal fraud are just a few of these crimes. Bascially, this rule of evidence allows the party you've filed a lawsuit against to argue that you may be dishonest as to how the accident happened or your injuries testimony because of a history of prior acts of dishonesty--known in legal talk as "impeaching your credibility."

Whether you think that's fair or not, that's the law. I guess it's the law's way of saying that there are certain spillover consequences for dishonesty. But it also applies equally to the defendant in any personal injury lawsuit who has a past history of similar crimes.

In any event, it is a standard question any Ohio personal injury victim can be expected to answer from his or her attorney, and the other party's lawyer as well.

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