Three Things You May Not Use As Evidence During A Car Accident Trial

There are some things that the court will not allow you to present as evidence during a car accident trial. This may be surprising to you since some of these inadmissible pieces of evidence may actually be connected to the case. Here are three examples of what the court may not allow you to admit as evidence:

Payments of Medical Expenses

In some jurisdictions (such as Alabama), if the other motorist offers to pay for your medical expenses, then you are not allowed to use the information as evidence (against him or her) in a subsequent trial. For example, a motorist may feel like settling your medical bills if he or she is not as hurt as you, feels the accident was his or her fault, or is just feeling philanthropic.

Whatever the reason for the offer, you aren't allowed to reveal the information if the case ends in court. The justification for this is that allowing the use of such evidence would prejudice the defendant's case. In essence, revealing that the defendant offered to pay your bills implied that he or she is liable for your injuries.

Police Accident Report

Police reports are generally inadmissible in civil courts because they are considered hearsay. Hearsay is any out of court statement made by persons who don't have direct knowledge, or did not witness, the accident. Since the police officers arrived at the scene after the crash, they are not witnesses, and their statements are hearsay.

However, this doesn't mean police reports aren't useful in accident cases. Use them during settlement negotiations to back up your claims of innocence or to get relevant facts (such as contacts of witnesses) relating to your case.

Bad Driving Records

Finally, if you don't have a stellar driving record, then you may be afraid that the information may be used against you in court. However, this isn't the case because, in general, your driving records cannot be used to show negligence at the time of the latest accident.

Allowing such evidence may be misleading; the fact that you have been negligent in the past doesn't mean you were responsible for the latest crash. In fact, a jury that hears about your dismal record may automatically assume that you are guilty of causing the accident. This is what the courts want to avoid.

However, you should be careful and avoid mentioning your records in court if you don't want the other party to discuss them. For example, if you claim to be a good driver, then the opposing party may use your bad records to rebut your claim, and everybody in the court will hear about it.

For more information, contact Kaston & Aberle or a similar firm.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!



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