The Pivotal Role of the Rules of Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
The Rules of Evidence Are Crucial in Personal Injury Cases, As They Uphold Fairness, Protect Rights, And Ensure the Court Considers Only Relevant And Reliable Information.
The rules of evidence in a personal injury case are parameters set to maintain a level playing field between both sides. They explain the kinds of evidence that can be presented, by whom, and in what manner. It is a tool for the courts to prevent long trials with superfluous information that can cause a case to drag on for an unnecessary length of time.
Primary Objective of the Rules of Evidence Under PA Law
According to Title 225, Rules of Evidence, section on General Provisions, the purpose of the rules of evidence is to “…be construed to administer every proceeding fairly, eliminate unjustifiable expense and delay, and promote the development of evidence law, to the end of ascertaining the truth and securing a just determination.” In other words, they create boundaries and requirements for the evidence given in a personal injury case to guarantee both sides’ fair and impartial treatment.
Seeking a Fair Outcome Through the Rules of Evidence
The rules of evidence ensure that everyone’s rights are protected. They provide fair proceedings and promote equal opportunities for the plaintiff and defendant. They require that the evidence presented meet the given standards of credibility and accuracy. The courts are backlogged and jammed to the hilt. The rules of evidence streamline the process and show how evidence should be presented or challenged. By establishing criteria for the admissibility of evidence, irrelevant or prejudicial information is not allowed. Judges can work inside a framework while still using their discretion to maintain fairness in the courtroom.
Key Types of Evidence Admissible in Personal Injury Cases
One of the most often utilized types of evidence is witness testimony. Witnesses can present what they saw and heard about the case. Witnesses tell what they observed at the accident scene, such as a pedestrian struck by a car. Their testimony is an essential part of any personal injury case. Police reports can also be considered as a branch of testimony.
Medical records include a doctor’s notes, nurses’ notes, test results, medications, and physical or occupational therapy required, and a description of the nature, extent, and prognosis of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Photographs and videos are usually included. Almost every business has security cameras inside and outside of their establishment. Some homes have them as well. Drivers frequently have dash cams to protect themselves when an accident occurs. Videos and photographs can show road and weather conditions or the events leading up to the accident. Video evidence is the most substantial way to bolster a case. Watching the accident as it happens will leave a lasting impression on the judge or jury.
Expert testimony can be given about the content of the case. Doctors, engineers, and forensic accident specialists can share specialized knowledge from their field of expertise. They are there to provide objective insights that will clearly explain parts of the case that necessitate specialized information. Expert witnesses offer knowledge specific to their area of expertise. They are permitted to testify when the knowledge they have to offer is outside of the realm of the average layperson. Their specialized knowledge will help the judge or jury better understand the evidence, and when their methodology is proven in their field, their testimony is admitted.
Physical evidence provides an impact on the judge and jury. A damaged vehicle, skid marks on the road, open containers of alcohol, a defective product, or visible physical injuries such as scars or disabilities.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases Where Rules of Evidence Are Applied
Importance of Gathering and Preserving Crucial Evidence
Personal injury cases are won by having credible, rock-solid evidence. Gathering and preserving evidence may seem tedious, but you will be grateful to have it when the decision falls in your favor.
There are several ways to gather evidence. As soon as you can, after the accident, write down everything you remember, however small the details. Contact witnesses who can testify about what they observed when your accident happened. Sometimes, witnesses don’t want to get involved, and asking them questions formally in a deposition is necessary. By returning to the scene of the accident, you may remember more about what occurred. You can take pictures of the broken sidewalk that caused you to trip and fall or the leaky freezer in the Piggly Wiggly that made you slip and hit your head on the floor. Keeping track of your injuries, treatment received, and physical and emotional progress can provide more evidence for your case.
Preserving evidence is of the utmost importance. Pictures, reports, reconstruction of the accident, and witness statements should be electronically stored and backed up in a separate device. Computers and cell phones malfunction, and you may be sorry if you have all of your eggs in one electronic basket. Lastly, to prevent the other side from making evidence that would help you “disappear,” your attorney can send a spoilation letter to the person or business who has the proof you need them to preserve.
Call Today for a Free Consultation with Our Personal Injury Lawyers Regarding Rules of Evidence in Bensalem, PA
When you have the evidence, presenting your side without an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how the rules of evidence are applied could cost you your case. You need someone with determination, experience, and tenacity to represent you. Our team of accomplished personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson will maximize your chances of receiving a financial award for the damages to which you are entitled.
The statute of limitations for a personal injury case is only two years. That may sound like plenty of time, but when you have to focus on healing from your injuries for several weeks or months, you may be left anxiously running to prepare for your day in court. Our personal injury attorneys can gather evidence, speak with witnesses, contact experts, and interview medical staff. We know the kind of evidence allowed and will build your case brick by brick.
Let us work with you to get the compensation you deserve in Doylestown, Yardley, Bristol, Levittown, and towns in Northeast Philadelphia, Philadelphia, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Call us at (215) 337-4915 or contact us online.