Imagine you have been injured by the negligence of another person. Perhaps you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, or you tripped and fell due to a concealed defect on someone else’s property. Whatever the scenario, imagine that after you are injured, the other person approaches you and says in no uncertain terms, “It was my fault that you were hurt. I was negligent.”
Fast forward to your civil trial. The defendant is on the stand and you now have the right to ask him, in front of the jury, whether he believes he was negligent. Under threat of perjury, the honest defendant will admit his negligence. But, if he denies his negligence, you have the right to impeach his testimony by raising his admission to you that he was, in fact, at fault.