What Types of Evidence Are Admissible in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
What Can You Introduce to Support Your Claim?
One of the common reasons that personal injury lawsuits fail is insufficient evidence. It’s important to understand that, simply because you are aware of what may be potentially compelling evidence, that it may not make it in front of a jury. That’s because there are specific rules about what types of evidence can be admitted in a personal injury trial.
What Evidence Will Be Inadmissible?
The following types of evidence will generally not be allowed to be introduced when the jury is present:
- Improperly obtained evidence—Evidence obtained through illegal actions, such as unauthorized wiretapping, computer hacking, theft or physical intimidation, will not be allowed at trial. Furthermore, evidence obtained through fraud or misrepresentation, such as assuming a false identity, may be excluded.
- Opinion-based evidence—An expert witness may give an opinion, but only if the court has determined that he or she is qualified as an expert. Any other opinion-based testimony is inadmissible.
- Evidence of criminal acts—As a general rule, such evidence is deemed irrelevant, unless it can be shown to establish a pattern of behavior that is relevant to a personal injury claim
- Hearsay evidence—This rule is complicated, but essentially prevents a person from testifying about out-of-court statements another person made
- Irrelevant evidence—To be relevant, evidence must make a fact more or less probable. If it does not, it’s most likely inadmissible. For example, if you’re trying to prove that the defendant failed to stop at a red light, evidence that the defendant flunked out of college won’t affect whether that fact is more or less probable, and will typically be inadmissible.
Contact Our Office
At the Lee Law Firm, we have extensive knowledge and experience successfully handling personal injury claims. We take all personal injury cases on a contingency basis—you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.
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