Florida Personal Injury Law Firm
There is a lot of talk in the news about “impeachment” and yet many people don’t fully understand what the word means. In the case of an elected or other public official, impeach means to accuse them of official misconduct, but the word also means to challenge the credibility of a witness.
Our justice system operates with the basic principle that all participants must be truthful, and a person who provides testimony (a witness) is usually sworn in before speaking so they understand the importance of being completely honest. Any witness can be subjected to scrutiny, including their previous record to determine if their testimony is to be trusted. If an individual has a prior record of being untruthful, or has a criminal record, it’s possible a jury will be less likely to believe them.
Florida Statute 90.608 says, in part: Who may impeach. — Any party, including the party calling the witness, may attack the credibility of a witness by:
(1) Introducing statements of the witness which are inconsistent with the witness’s present testimony.
In personal injury cases witnesses are often called to give testimony, including expert witnesses who are frequently called upon to offer opinions on a particular subject where they are highly experienced and educated. It is important that all witnesses be looked at closely to make sure they are offering valid, accurate, and truthful evidence.
If you are involved in an accident and you plan to represent yourself, the story you tell may be scrutinized not only on its substantive content, but on your own record. The opposing side in your case may look to “impeach” you as a witness for any number of reasons, and this is one of many reasons it is prudent to seek professional legal help when you are injured. A qualified and experienced attorney can guide you through the entire process and make every ethical effort to make sure the truth is brought to light.
If you are involved in a traffic accident it is important to be truthful right from the start, but it is also important to not offer information that is not asked for or necessary. After contacting emergency authorities it is a good idea to call an attorney who specializes in accidents. We hope you will consider our firm, working to bring justice to victims in south Florida since 1992.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus – (954) 356-0006