Hearsay and Personal Injury Law
A hearsay is a statement that was given to a witness, who then repeats the statement in court. Not all such statements are hearsay. In order to be considered hearsay, the statement needs to state—or imply—a fact. Hearsay evidence is not allowed in personal injury suits. This is known as the “rule against hearsay”. Hearsay prohibitions exist in order to provide a jury with the most accurate information related to the injury so that jurors can make a fair and just decision.
If there is a key fact in your case that needs to be proven, your attorney will either search for witnesses or other proof of that fact, or they will look for a hearsay exception. You must be very careful about the type of evidence that you compile for your case. Your attorney may very well need to use some sort of hearsay evidence to help prove your case. However, when you are relying on some type of hearsay statement, the person who originally spoke that statement can come under attack in court, even if they are not testifying. Hearsay makes personal injury cases far more complicated, and it is yet another reason why you absolutely need an attorney. Call KI Legal to discuss your case.
Negligence is the failure to take proper care in doing something. Negligence is often the cause of personal injury cases. For example, a driver rear-ended the car in front of them due to following too closely. Many accidents that could be summed up as “a person not paying attention when they should be” fall into this category.
The factors that need to be considered when considering if someone was negligent include:
- Whether the person causing the injury had a responsibility toward the person who got hurt;
- Whether the person causing the injury acted in a way that violated that responsibility;Whether the person accused of negligence actually did something that hurt the person making the accusation;
- Whether the injury could have been reasonably foreseen.
Some types of personal injury claims may involve allegations of strict liability, intentional criminal acts, negligence per se, or other causes of action. KI Legal’s knowledgeable personal injury lawyers analyze the facts of the case to determine what legal claims may apply.
Statute of Limitations
A law that only allows claims to be brought for a certain period of time after an event or action. When relating to personal injury, it means that there is a specific period of time when you can bring a lawsuit against a person or company you think is at fault. Statutes of limitations exist to make sure the evidence in a case is “fresh”—wherein evidence and witness testimony are likely to still be useful to the court in figuring out what happened.
Under New York law, courts may hear a case that has not passed the three-year statute of limitations, including cases of car accidents. But if someone died as a result of the accident, and the family or other representative of the deceased person wants to file a New York wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash, the deadline for starting that case is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death (and keep in mind that the date of the death might be different from the date of the accident).In New York, as in every state, if you try to file your lawsuit after the statute of limitations deadline has passed, the court will almost certainly refuse to hear it. That’s why it’s so important to understand how the deadline applies to your situation. At a minimum, doing so will give you more leverage during settlement negotiations. If the filing deadline is coming up, it may be time to contact an experienced attorney at KI Legal to make sure your legal options are preserved.
A tort is an action that causes injury to someone else. If you have been the victim of a tort, you are entitled to bring a civil court case against the person committing the tort (the tortfeasor).
The three main types of torts:
(1) intentional – an act that the offender decided to commit; many of these also carry criminal charges, leading to an individual possibly being brought to both civil and criminal court.
(2) negligent – a tort that happened because the offender was not being as careful as they should have been; many car accidents are considered negligent torts. If someone hits your car, more often they did not intend to hit you on purpose. Nevertheless, that does not change the fact that that action may have injured you and damaged your property because they were following too closely and not paying attention. These torts can also carry criminal charges, often in the form of a traffic ticket. These criminal charges are less likely to be pursued over intentional torts.
(3) strict liability – the making and/or selling of defective product
NOTE: Many torts can also carry criminal charges. Criminal and civil tort cases have different intended results: criminal courts can sometimes order restitution to be paid to victims whereas civil courts are meant not to punish lawbreaking, but to make sure victims of torts are properly compensated for their losses.
Voir dire and peremptory strikes in jury selection
Voir dire is the process that’s used to make sure that a fair jury is chosen. Potential jurors are asked questions about things that might make them biased towards one side or the other, and lawyers can then request that the judge disqualify jurors with biases. Peremptory strikes are a way for a lawyer to remove someone from the jury pool without showing cause. There are times when a potential juror might not have enough bias to be removed for cause, but the lawyer suspects that the juror would not be fair to their client. Peremptory strikes do not need any justification for lawyers to use them. Because of this, only a certain number of peremptory strikes are allowed for each side. Once those strikes are used up, lawyers will need to convince the judge to remove jurors for cause.
A deposition is a pre-trial interview that typically happens in an attorney’s office, but can also be conducted at a mutually agreed upon location by both opposing parties. a pre-trial interview that typically happens in an attorney’s office. It is meant to be informal as there is no judge or jury present during the interview. Parties will be questioned by the opposing party’s attorney and will be written by a stenographer to be presented as evidence during a trial. If there is ever a need for a modification, a motion to amend may be brought pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 3025.
Discovery is the process of collecting and sharing information before a trial. This process can be accomplished through the use of:
- Depositions: pre-trial interviews that are informal and meant to be brought in as additional evidence during a trial;
- Interrogatories: a set of written questions that is formally put to one party in a case by another party and which must be answered within a standard time period (30 days);
- Request for Admission: a device that allows one party to request that another party admit or deny the truth of a statement under oath. If admitted, the statement is considered to be true for all purposes of the current trial.
- Medical Examinations.
- Requests for Production of Documents: a device used to gain access to documents, electronic data, and physical items held by an opposing party in a legal matter. The aim is to gain insight into any relevant evidence that the opposing party holds.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is the responsibility of a person or organization to prove/disprove a fact. Whoever has the burden of proof needs to prove what they are saying is true. In criminal cases, the burden rests on the prosecution, who provide so much evidence that no reasonable person could doubt that what they are saying is true. In civil—and personal injury—cases, the plaintiff must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, but to a preponderance of the evidence.
Civil damages are owed to a winning plaintiff by the losing defendant in a civil case tried in a court of law. Civil damages can be compensatory, general, punitive, or any combination of these. Estimating liability in civil cases depends greatly on the type of damages.
 Devon S. v. Aundrea B.-S, 32 Misc. 3d 341, 343 (N.Y. 2011).
 Exceptions To Hearsay: Hearsay can be allowed if the circumstances make it sufficiently reliable. There are other noted exceptions, like deathbed declarations. If the witness can’t be interviewed (because they’re dead), these declarations are sometimes allowed by the court.
 Sultan v. King, 152 N.Y.S.3d 777, 783 (N.Y. 2021).
 N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214,
 Kickertz v. New York University, 110 A.D. 3d 268, 280 (1st Dep’t 2013).
 N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 270.15.
*PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME*
This information is the most up to date news available as of the date posted. Please be advised that any information posted on the KI Legal Blog or Social Channels is being supplied for informational purposes only and is subject to change at any time. For more information, and clarity surrounding your individual organization or current situation, contact a member of the KI Legal team.
KI Legal Personal Injury fights for victims of a wide array of personal injury claims, from Motor Vehicle Accidents to Scaffolding and Ladder Falls to Slip/Trip & Falls, amongst others. By leveraging its multidisciplinary foundation and, with the help of its experienced litigators, KI Legal Personal Injury can fight for the results and compensation that victims deserve without pushing for premature settlements due to financial reasons. This financial paradigm shift swings the pendulum in our favor when it comes to negotiating with insurance carriers, inherently leading to better results for clients. For the latest updates.