Evidence is a crucial part of any personal injury case. Regardless of whether your claim settles or goes to trial, evidence can make or break a case, and will ultimately have an impact on the amount of compensation you receive. For this reason, in particular, it is important to get in as much evidence as possible in injury trials. However, there are many cases for which evidence is not permissible due to the rule against hearsay evidence. Getting around a hearsay objection is tricky; You need the knowledge of an experienced attorney to ensure your evidence is admissible. The attorneys at Colombo Law have handled many personal injury cases and are experienced attorneys who work to find unique ways to ensure your evidence gets before a jury.
What is Hearsay Evidence?
Hearsay evidence is a statement that is made at some place other than in a courtroom. In the future, someone (other than the individual who makes the statement) attempts to introduce the statement in order to prove a fact did or did not occur. Not all out-of-court statements are hearsay. The rule against hearsay only prohibits those statements that seek to prove or disprove a material fact. If the statement seeks to show some other fact, the evidence is permissible. However, if crucial evidence is hearsay, you should look for a qualifying exception that will allow the evidence to come in.
Common Hearsay Exceptions in Personal Injury Cases
Some common personal injury hearsay exceptions include:
- Present Sense Impressions: A present sense impression occurs when an individual makes an out of court statement either during the event or shortly after the event occurs.
- Excited Utterance: An excited utterance is an out of court statement made during a startling event, while the person making the statement is still experiencing stress from the startling event. One example of an excited utterance is a witness who sees a particularly bad accident scream “that red car just ran the light and ran down that motorcycle.”
- Then Existing Mental, Physical, or Emotional Condition: This hearsay exception covers statements made that explain the declarant’s then existing mental state of mind or emotional or physical condition.
It is important to note that hearsay exceptions typically are admissible because of the trustworthiness of the statement. Since many of the statements or information conveyed occurs while or shortly after an event, hearsay exceptions are created and often considered to be trustworthy.
Contact Colombo Law Today
No attorney will disagree with the fact that evidence is crucial in any personal injury action. However, all attorneys, even those in the same area of practice, have diverse ways of handling a case, the strategies implemented, and how to bring a case to its proper conclusion. These methods are what separates Colombo Law from other law firms. Our attorneys are available to assist clients in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis County.
Photo Copyright: gajus / 123RF Stock Photo