Ordinarily, for purposes of testimony and evidence, an out of court statement
which is being introduced at trial to prove the truth of the matter being
asserted is not admissible in evidence because it is "hearsay."
One of the reasons this is so is because there is no opportunity to verify
that what is alleged to have been said, actually was said. That is, the
lawyers do not have the opportunity to examine or cross-examine a person
who allegedly said something if he or she is not there in court.
There are a number of exceptions to this general rule, however, so it is
important to be careful what you say. In the personal injury context,
car accident, often people are emotional at the scene of the crash or are flustered
or angry—for obvious reasons. One of the exceptions to the hearsay
rule is party admissions. By way of example, a plaintiff may testify about
what a defendant said at the scene of a crash, assuming that testimony
is relevant.So, if a defendant gets out of the car and says, "I'm so sorry,
I didn't see you. I was texting my girlfriend" that testimony
is admissible if liability is disputed.Similarly, if a plaintiff said, "I'm sorry, I've had a lot
to drink and I shouldn't have been going so fast" that testimony
would likely be admissible. Therefore, it is important to try to remain
as calm as possible, and say nothing that you would not want repeated
in court. This is easier said than done, but it is good advice to be polite
and brief, and never say anything you wouldn't want the other party
to tell a jury about if you end up in court.
For more information about the steps you can take after and accident and
injury, contact a Northern Virginia personal injury lawyer from Chaikin,
Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.