What is Evidence?

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What is Evidence?

What is Evidence?Knowing that another party caused your injury and proving that the party is liable under New York negligence laws are two different things. You cannot recover compensation for injuries and damages unless you prove the other party is guilty of negligence. 

Negligence is failing to act with the level of care an ordinary reasonable person uses in the same or similar situation. You must have evidence proving each of the legal elements of negligence to have a successful personal injury claim.

These elements are:

  • Duty
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

Indeed, you must convince a jury by a preponderance of the evidence that the other party caused your injury. The types of evidence admissible in court are determined by the Federal Rules of Evidence and the New York State Rules of Evidence

Examples of the types of evidence used in personal injury cases include:

Documentary Evidence 

Documentary evidence is one of the most common forms of evidence used in civil court cases. It includes a variety of documentation, including audio recordings, photographs, written documents, and videos. 

Examples of documentary evidence that might be introduced in a legal proceeding for a personal injury claim include, but are not limited to:

  • Photographs and videos of the accident scene and the person’s injuries
  • Accident reports, crash reports, and police reports
  • Medical records, including records from ambulance companies, hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, rehabilitation centers, therapists, and counselors 
  • Repair records and maintenance records
  • Employment and wage records, including statements from employers, pay stubs, tax returns, income statements, and bank records
  • Copies of cell phone records
  • Maintenance records, logbooks, and employment records from a trucking company

A case could rely heavily on documentary evidence and physical evidence if the testimony from parties to the case directly contradicts each other regarding the alleged facts of the case. 

Physical Evidence 

Physical evidence is any tangible object related to the allegations raised by any party to the lawsuit. Physical evidence presented in court may include the medical instruments left inside a patient during surgery of the physical damage to a vehicle caused by a car accident.

Testimony

Testimony refers to answering questions in court under oath. Parties who have information relevant to the case may be called as witnesses to provide testimony about disputed matters. 

Witnesses in a personal injury case may include:

  • The parties to the lawsuit
  • Medical providers and specialists
  • Eyewitnesses 
  • Expert witnesses in various fields of study
  • Financial experts and economists
  • Family members and friends
  • Production and manufacturing experts
  • Vehicle repair and maintenance specialists
  • Accident reconstructionists 

The parties called to testify in court depend on the case and the attorneys’ strategy for the trial. If a witness provides testimony at a deposition and changes their testimony on the stand, the attorney may use the deposition to attack the accuracy of the witnesses’ statements. 

Circumstantial Evidence

Circumstantial evidence implies an alleged matter of fact is true without any hard evidence to prove the fact. Instead, the evidence leads the jury members to assume that an allegation is true based on the circumstances surrounding the matter. 

While circumstantial evidence is not as convincing as physical or documentary evidence, it can support allegations in a personal injury case. Jurors may believe circumstantial evidence based on their belief or disbelief of other evidence presented during the trial.

Hearsay Evidence

Hearsay refers to certain statements made outside of the courtroom. Hearsay is generally not admissible in a personal injury case, but there could be some exceptions to the rule.

State Evidence

State evidence does not usually apply in civil cases. Instead, state evidence is the testimony offered by a criminal defendant about crimes committed by other alleged criminals. Typically, the criminal defendant testifying does so with the promise they will receive something of value, such as reduced charges, a lighter sentence, or better prison conditions.

Who Hears the Evidence in a New York City Personal Injury Case?

The jurors in personal injury cases are the “triers of fact.” Their job is to listen to the evidence and decide whether believe the evidence. Each juror must decide for themselves what evidence to believe. 

There is no law requiring a juror to justify their decision in a personal injury case. However, jurors should remain impartial, listen to all evidence presented in court, and then decide what they believe to be the facts of the case.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation with a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer

Our legal team at the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel, LLC diligently investigates your accident claim to gather evidence proving the party caused your injuries. We work to get you the best possible settlement for your injury claim.

Call our law office or reach out to us online to request a free consultation with an experienced Manhattan personal injury attorney.

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