It is the responsibility of a judge to ensure that the trial in a Florida personal injury case follows all the laid rules, both substantive and procedural.
The judge also decides which evidence is admissible and relevant to the case. Sometimes, however, a powerful evidence may not be admitted for many different reasons.
Most times, evidentiary issues are examined in pretrial motions before the empanelment of the jury. This eliminates the risk of presenting before the jury any evidence that the judge considers inadmissible. The outcome of Pre-trial motion hearing often determines how the case will be handled and what path it will take. For instance, if a plaintiff gets a pretrial ruling that allows for the admission of the existing evidence, the defense may choose to settle the case instead of proceeding to trial. Hence, Pre-trial motion hearings are important in a Florida personal injury case.
Recently, a Florida appellate court decided which evidence should have been admitted in an auto accident case.
Facts of the Case
The accident involved two motorcycle operators and a passenger riding along a Florida highway. They were said to be returning from the bar. As at the time of the accident, the motorcyclist carrying the passenger had not been issued a fully valid license and could only operate a motorcycle without a passenger.
The plaintiffs claimed that at about 11:00 p.m, the defendant pulled up next to their motorcycles and revved his engine. The three began to race. The plaintiffs further testified that at some point during the race, the defendant ran into one of the motorcycles which led it to crash into the other motorcycle. Both motorcycle operators and the passenger sustained various injuries.
However, the defendant had a different story, claiming that one of the motorcycle operators lost control and rammed into the other motorcycle. The defendant was not allowed to prove to the jury during the trial that the plaintiffs had been drinking beforehand, and that the motorcyclist carrying the passenger had no legal permission to do so. This prompted the defendant to appeal.
The court ruled in favor of the defendant stating that their request to present the jury with evidence that countered the claims of the plaintiffs should not have been denied. The court explained that the jury’s decision of who was at fault and whose story to believe should have been based on the fact that the motorcyclists had been drinking before the accident. The court also stated that a motorcycle could easily lose control when a motorcyclist who is not trained to carry a passenger does so.
If you or a loved one is ever involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you will need a Personal Injury Attorney to compile relevant evidence that would be presented to the jury. Depending on the extent of the injury sustained and the circumstances of the accident, the Personal Injury Attorney will ensure that you get adequate compensation for your loss.