Strictly speaking, personal injury claims are completely separate from any associated criminal charges and subsequent convictions. However, a criminal conviction for a negligent or reckless act can play a pivotal role in your personal injury claim when it comes to finding fault for your injurious accident. On the flip side, for personal injury claimants with convictions on their criminal records, what negative impact might that have on your claim?
There are many personal injury claims which have no criminal component whatsoever, but for those that do, our Passaic County attorneys will explain the impact criminal convictions can have on your personal injury case.
Using Criminal Convictions to Find Fault in Passaic County, NJ
Many people are familiar with the concept of “reasonable doubt”. Within the context of criminal trials, judges or juries must find that the offender is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict. This standard of proof is significantly more stringent than the standard applied to personal injury claims, which falls under New Jersey comparative negligence statutes.
For most personal injury claims, one of the main components our Passaic County attorneys will strive to prove is that the other party acted recklessly or negligently, leading to your injurious accident. Criminal activities are negligent by definition and are quite often considered reckless as well. While we still may choose to present our own evidence of wrongdoing, having a public record of a criminal conviction in our corner is often times more than enough proof that the other party was at fault for you injuries.
As an added bonus, criminal proceedings may be useful by providing additional details pertaining to your injurious accident as well. For example, police reports and trial transcripts may provide evidence of the exact blood alcohol concentration of another driver, the speed at which he or she was traveling, and other specifics of the accident which we may not have otherwise been able to prove.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim With A Criminal Record: Paterson Personal Injury Attorneys
Unfortunately for those with a criminal record, it is possible that your personal injury case will be viewed differently. While there is no legal reason to handle your claim any differently, the fact remains that your case may be viewed with an air of skepticism due to human nature. Our Paterson personal injury attorneys understand that although a criminal record is not a positive for our clients, we can take steps to mitigate potential damage by doing the following:
Answering all questions honestly. You will be asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime. You will be asked to go into details about the nature and circumstances of those crimes. Lying or attempting to hide details will likely come out in settlement negotiations or your civil trial, which can have an enormously damaging effect.
Understanding the impact of your specific criminal record. Not all previous indiscretions will be viewed equally, and our attorneys will help you to know where you stand legally. For example, if you have been convicted of marijuana possession and your personal injury claim pertains to a construction accident, you can feel good that these two have little to no correlation. However, if you have been convicted of drunk driving and insurance fraud, you personal injury claim for a car accident may face difficulties.
Contact our Clifton Personal Injury Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Fredson & Statmore, our personal injury attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience helping clients injured in our local New Jersey communities including Clifton, Wayne, Paterson, Little Falls, West Milford, Woodland Park, and the greater Passaic County region. Our firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law, which allows us to be fully prepared to handle even the most complex personal injury cases. Lean on our extensive experience and intimate knowledge of local, state, and federal law to seek the compensation you and your family need and deserve including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress, and much more.
Call our Clifton offices by dialing (973) 777-8600 or contact us online to speak with a member of our qualified legal team in a free and confidential consultation today regarding your potential personal injury claim and to find out how we can best serve your needs.