“Relevant evidence” means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.
Relevance is the basic building block of evidence rules—evidence must be relevant to be admissible. For evidence to be relevant there must be some logical connection between it and the fact it’s offered to prove or disprove. Source
Basically, if evidence is to be admitted at court, it must be relevant, material, and competent. To be considered relevant, it must have some reasonable tendency to help prove or disprove some fact. It need not make the fact certain, but at least it must tend to increase or decrease the likelihood of some fact. Source
The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence. Source.
Evidence that cannot be presented to the jury or decision maker for any of a variety of reasons: it was improperly obtained, it is prejudicial (the prejudicial value outweighs the probative value), it is hearsay (with no applicable exceptions too the hearsay rule that apply), it is not relevant to the case, etc. Source
An offer of proof serves two purposes, providing the proponent of the evidence the opportunity to persuade the judge not to exclude the evidence, and preserving the error on the record for appellate review. Source
The Tindall Law Firm understands the rules of evidence and knowledge of what they submit into evidence in court. They also are well versed in what cannot be submitted and therefore excluded. Personal Liability cases can be won or lost based on what evidence is admitted (or excluded) when you go to trial. Your experienced personal injury attorney understands the rules of evidence and this knowledge of “what you don’t know can hurt you.”
To make this point a bit clearer; in relation to apersonal injury case, your insurance company may attempt to dig up some past, personal, unfavorable information about you (the claimant), in order to put a shadow on your character. This is something that if the claimant had a criminal background could prove to be detrimental.
This is one of the reasons that it is important that your lawyer be familiar with the rules of evidence and knows how to use those rules and protect your interest by excluding irrelevant information from getting into evidence. Having a court room experienced attorney will provide you the best opportunities to a positive resolution of you case.
In addition, most jurisdictions will have a limited amount of time in which a criminal conviction can be admitted into evidence. Also, bad character evidence is usually excluded. It is also important to note that in CT an arrest may not be admitted into evidence in a personal injury case. Convictions that are very old or are not what are called crimes of dishonesty often are excluded from evidence to the jury or fact-finder.
In addition to the physical and emotional pain of personal injuries, there are often significant financial costs. If the injury was caused by the wrongful conduct of another party, you may be able to collect compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, impairment of your earning capacity, pain and suffering, impairment of your life’s normal activities, and other related losses.
The Tindall Law Firm, LLC, provides nearly 25 years of experienced representation to injury victims and their families in Connecticut. We understand your concerns because we have helped thousands of people who were faced with the same issues after a serious injury or a wrongful death. To schedule a free consultation with a Waterbury personal injury lawyer, please call 203.755.0018 today.
You can learn more about personal injury lawsuits by visiting our personal injury FAQ.