Can an insurance company use criminal background against me in court to win a case in a liability lawsuit to keep from paying

Asked almost 2 years ago - Dallas, TX

i was injured in a slip and fall accident and 10 years ago was slightly injured in an automobile accident i have a felony and 3 misdemeaners my lawyer is trying to say a jury will not award me compisation in court do to the criminal history and is saying the injury may be related to the past automobile accident because of things that i sayed to hospitals over 3 to 5 years ago but the injuries of slip and fall could of made the past injuries worse my doctor and therepy bills are $52,000.00 this time and they r trying to get me to settle for $45,00.00 and my lawyer is trying to tell me that a jury will not rule in my favor is this accurate or is my lawyer just trying to screw me because of my felony for cocaine and failure to id and theft under $20.00

Attorney answers (5)

  1. 14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You fail to state where your injury occurred, but since you are from Dallas, I will assume that you reside in the D/FW area. You need to look at Texas Rule of Evidence 609, which in general states that for the purpose of attacking the credibility of a witness, evidence that the witness was convicted of a felony, or crime of moral turpitude (lying/cheating/stealing), is admissble if the probative value outweighs the preducial effect. However, the conviction is not admissible if the conviction occurred greater than 10 years ago, unless the judge decides that the probabtive value outweighs the prejudicial effect. The long and short of this is that "yes" your criminal conduct can be used against your in court to demonstrate that you are not a trustworthy person.

    This is important because in a civil jury trial you are asking the jury to award you money based on your claims of injury, which includes money for pain and suffering. Should the jury think you are prone to you break the law. In my experience there are juries out there that simply will not award money to convicts, as to be a juror you must not have ever committed such a crime. So gernerally speaking, you will not get a jury of your peers, as your peers are persons with felong convcitions.

    Further, Texas is a law and order state. Most judges will permit Rule 609 evidence to be submitted to the jury. Further, counties like Collin, Wise and Tarrant are extremely conservative and winning a slip and fall case in them, regardless of the facts, is rare. You should listen to your lawyer. And "no" your lawyer is not trying to take advantage of you. In my opinion he is giving you sound advice, which is what you hired him to do. He did not create the facts, he can only present them.

  2. 13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Juries don't like to hear this stuff, and it could sway them against you. Your lawyer would be in the best position to advise you.

  3. 11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the convictions come in at trial it is doubtful that a jury will award you more than medicals. Sometimes they will believe you injured yourself or were on drugs when you were injured even though there are no records to prove that. Depending on your lawyers ability to reduce the medical bills this may or may not be a fair settlement. But at the end of the day it is your option. Guaranteed money versus rolling the dice e and getting zero.

    Know YOUR Rights. Take Action Now. CALL 855-648-4695. Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal... more
  4. 9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your attorney can test the admissibility of your convictions through a motion in limine, pretrial. If the judge rules against you, you know the information is coming in. Speak with your attorney further.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  5. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Discuss with your lawyer ASAP. Generally, I would file a Motion with the Court to bar any such evidence from the jury.

    The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-... more

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