What happens after you sustain injuries in a Texas car accident caused by another driver and want to pursue compensation for medical care, vehicle repair, pain and suffering, and more? You are funneled through Texas’ complex legal system, and more often than not, the at-fault driver, opposing counsel, and the insurance company are less inclined to help you.
Evidence is the foundation of every car accident case and all other personal injury cases. To win your case, you need to present strong, credible evidence, and when talking about a car accident, the evidence must be relevant.
A better understanding of the type of evidence you’ll need to support your car accident case and how the matter of relevancy affects this evidence can help you better handle your case.
Texas Rules of Evidence
Each state has unique rules of evidence, and relevancy is one of the most important rules of evidence in Texas and other states. So, when is evidence considered relevant in your car accident case in Texas?
Texas rules of evidence consider evidence to be relevant if:
- The evidence tends to support a fact and make it more or less probable than it would be without the evidence.
- The fact has a direct consequence on your case.
All relevant evidence in your car accident case in Texas is admissible unless otherwise provided by:
- The U.S. or Texas Constitution
- Texas rules of evidence
- A statute
- Other rules outlined under statutory authority
Irrelevant evidence is, however, inadmissible.
Two-Pronged Test For Relevance
How do you determine if the evidence is admissible or not? There’s a two-pronged test to determine whether the evidence present in your case is admissible and relevant.
First, is the evidence relevant? Second, is the evidence material or not? Material evidence is evidence that is essential to the essence of your case.
It is important to note that most issues regarding relevancy come into play when an indirect fact is employed to support or prove something circumstantial.
Issues regarding the relevancy of evidence can be overwhelming for non-lawyers. Perhaps the clearest way to get a clear picture of the matter is through an example.
For example, say you get hurt in a car crash, and the at-fault driver has a DUI or DWI history. However, they weren’t intoxicated when the crash happened, so any evidence regarding the driver’s prior DWI or DUI problems will probably be considered irrelevant. This is because drinking has no bearing on the motorist’s actions or omissions in relation to the crash.
However, in the same example, if the offending driver was drunk or drugged when the crash that left you injured occurred, evidence related to their DWI history may be considered both relevant and admissible.
Exceptions to the Texas Rules of Evidence
Can relevant evidence be excluded from your case? Unfortunately, yes. Even if car accident evidence is relevant, a court may still exclude said evidence from your case based on specific grounds.
For example, if a judge finds relevant evidence to be more prejudicial than probative — more damaging and with a tendency to unduly influence the fact-finder than it is useful to support or prove a point being made — the court can exclude the evidence.
A Texas court can deny the admissibility of any evidence — even if said evidence is determined to be relevant — if it serves to accomplish any of the following:
- It’s likely to mislead the jury
- It’s likely to cause unfair prejudice
- It’s likely to confuse the legal issue at hand
Crucial Evidence That Will Strengthen Your Car Accident Case
When injury victims file a Texas car accident claim or lawsuit, they have the burden of proving their right to compensation from the at-fault driver. You do this by collecting evidence to prove to the insurance company and the court — in case you opt to pursue a lawsuit — that the defendant was negligent. You must also prove that their negligence caused the crash, which caused your injuries and other losses.
Even if the crash was relatively minor, you should still collect evidence to support your claim. Having strong evidence to prove negligence and liability will significantly affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Common types of car accident evidence that may be crucial for proving your case include:
- Official records, such as police reports
- Witness testimony
- Medical records
- Pay stubs and wage loss documents
- Expert witnesses
After a car accident that results in injuries, you can put yourself in a better position to recover the compensation you deserve for medical bills and other losses by understanding the types of evidence used in a car accident claim and lawsuit. A lawyer can help investigate your case, take measures to preserve evidence, and provide further guidance.
Talk to a Texas Car Accident Lawyer About Proving Your Case
If you’ve been in a car wreck, it’s essential you speak with a car accident attorney to help you navigate the discovery process, collect crucial evidence, and understand the Texas rules of evidence.
Attorney Michael Francis and his team of Texas car accident lawyers know the Texas rules of evidence and what evidence you will need to support your claim. We are passionate advocates for car accident victims and have successfully represented injury victims for over 25 years, securing favorable outcomes. From our convenient office locations in Dallas, Southlake, and Fort Worth, The Francis Firm provides excellent representation to car accident victims, including helping you get the medical care you need. Contact us today to request a 100% free consultation with our Texas car accident lawyers.