When our Lawrenceville personal injury lawyers first meet with a client, we ask them to tell us their story. In order to know if their claim is valid, we need to know what happened. Unfortunately, some of the things they tell us cannot always be supported by evidence. Here, we’ll discuss how the Georgia rules of evidence can impact your case.
Your Lawrenceville Injury Lawyer Will Do a Thorough Investigation of Your Claim
Once you retain the services of one of our Lawrenceville personal injury attorneys, they’ll conduct a thorough investigation. They will need to know everything they can about the facts of your case.
Your attorney also needs to know what evidence there is to back up your claim. For example, they will need to see a copy of the police report. This has valuable information that carries a lot of weight because it’s written by an impartial party.
Their Goal is to Look for Information That Will Help Prove Negligence
Ultimately, the goal is for your Lawrenceville injury lawyer to prove that the defendant was negligent. Regardless of what kind of accident you were involved in, your lawyer needs proof. This comes in the way of evidence.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that can help sway a jury or mediator your way. Our Lawrenceville personal injury attorneys are always looking for these nuggets to get a leg up on the defendant.
The Police Report Will Be One of the Most Useful Pieces of Evidence
As briefly stated above, the police report is a crucial piece of evidence. As long as it’s authenticated, the defendant cannot object to its being used as evidence. The information in that report can be invaluable when it comes to proving your case.
Some of the information contained in the police report includes:
- Statements made by the drivers involved
- Eyewitness statements and contact information
- Pictures of the accident scene and damaged vehicles
- Copies of each driver’s license, registration, and insurance information
- Notes about anything unique about the scene itself
For the most part, your Lawrenceville injury lawyer cannot get this information any other way. This is just one of the reasons why it’s critical that you call 911 immediately after the crash.
The Civil Courts in Georgia Have Strict Rules When It Comes to Evidence
Like every other state, Georgia has its own set of rules when it comes to a civil lawsuit. Some of the most important rules have to do with evidence. Evidence is what controls the path your lawsuit will take.
It would be ideal if your Lawrenceville personal injury attorney could use whatever evidence they wanted at trial. Unfortunately, there are rules in place to ensure that only certain evidence makes its way in front of a jury.
What Are Some of the Critical Rules of Evidence?
The reason there are rules of evidence in place is so that everybody fights fair. The courts also have a duty to ensure that any evidence used at trial is legitimate and accurate.
Some of the important rules your Lawrenceville injury lawyer must adhere to include:
- Hearsay Rule – You cannot use a person’s comments or statements that cannot be substantiated as accurate.
- Authenticity – Certain documents must be authenticated before they can be used in court.
- Self-Authentication of certain reports – According to OCGA §24-9-902, a police report can be used at trial without the need for authentication.
Of course, there are many other rules on evidence in Georgia. However, there is no need to discuss them all here.
What is the Hearsay Rule and How Can It Impact Your Case?
One of the biggest rules of evidence that can affect your case is the hearsay rule. According to OCGA §24-8-802, hearsay is not admissible in court. Unless your Lawrenceville injury lawyer can demonstrate that it meets one of the hearsay exceptions, certain statements will not be allowed at trial.
You may wonder what hearsay is. It can be a confusing concept to understand. Basically, the courts don’t let you use certain statements made by other people. Since the people are arguably available to testify to what they said or did, the courts don’t let other people speak on their behalf.
There Are Several Exceptions to the Hearsay Rule
It would be nearly impossible for a judge to conduct a trial without allowing the attorneys to introduce some out-of-court statements. They aren’t all going to be ruled inadmissible.
Some of the common exceptions to the hearsay rule in Georgia include the following.
Present Sense Impressions
This is when a person is explaining or describing something they are experiencing at the moment. For example, if the other driver is talking on their cell phone and tells the listener that he “crashed into the back of some guy’s truck,” you’d want to use that in court.
When someone is excited or frustrated, things may spill out of their mouths without them realizing it. For example, if the same driver in the above situation got out of his car screaming, “I can’t believe I did that. I never text and drive!”, your lawyer would want to use this too.
When you first meet with your Lawrenceville personal injury attorney, they’ll explain what kind of evidence they’re looking for. The hope is that you can help them find it.
Your Lawrenceville Personal Injury Attorney Will Object to Any Inadmissible Evidence
One thing you need to do is trust your Lawrenceville injury lawyer. They are going to make sure the defendant isn’t able to sneak any information in at trial if it’s hearsay. The same is true if it’s inadmissible in any way.
Every time the defendant’s lawyer attempts to do this, your lawyer will file an objection. If they don’t do this, the other party’s statements can carry significant weight in the decision-making process.
Your Lawrenceville Personal Injury Attorney Will Also Fight to Get You the Compensation You Deserve
The reason you hire a Lawrenceville injury lawyer is so they can help get you compensation for your injuries. Not only do they know the law, but they also know how to prepare your case. They won’t let the defendant’s lawyer take advantage of you.
We suggest you call our office as soon as possible after your crash. The other driver’s insurance company will try to use your words against you from the start. We can help make sure this doesn’t happen.
We do offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. Take advantage of the opportunity to sit down with an experienced Lawrenceville injury lawyer free of charge. They can not only review your case, but they can also tell you how best to proceed.