Are Out-of-Court Statements Allowed in Maryland Truck Accident Cases?

truck accidentIn many Maryland truck accidents, witnesses to the accident or those who were involved in the accident make statements to one another in the immediate aftermath of the accident. Often, these statements are made without forethought, and may be instinctive reactions to what had just happened. However, these statements may be illuminating when it later comes to making a determination as to who was at fault.

By way of example, earlier this month a fatal truck accident claimed the life of one motorist. According to a recent news report, a semi-truck driver inexplicably lost control of his vehicle, crossed over the center median and into oncoming traffic, and then collided with two other vehicles. Three other vehicles then became involved in the accident, injuring a total of three people.

Police conducted an interview of the truck driver after the accident, and while police are not releasing the substance of the driver’s statement, they did explain that it was “unusual.” Whether the statement was some sort of apology or confession remains to be seen. Police are continuing with their investigation into the fatal accident, but have told reporters that they do not believe drugs or alcohol to have been a factor.

Admissibility of Statements

The Maryland Rules of Evidence govern what statements can come into evidence and which are precluded from the judge or jury’s consideration. As a general rule, out-of-court statements that are being offered to prove that what is contained in the statement was true are not permitted under hearsay rules. The motivation behind the hearsay prohibition is that out-of-court statements are inherently unreliable for a number of reasons. For example, they may have been taken out of context or may have been motivated by other unknown factors. However, there are a number of hearsay exceptions.

For example, a party’s statement that is being used against that party is generally admissible. The idea behind this rule is that there is little concern about the reliability of a statement that is made against the speaker’s interest.

Similarly, under the “present sense impression” exception, a party’s statement “describing or explaining an event or condition made while the declarant was perceiving the event or condition” is not prohibited. Again, the idea behind this exception is that a descriptive statement of an event made while the event is occurring is more likely to be reliable.

Statements can make or break a Maryland truck accident case, but determining which statements are likely to be admissible can be tricky. Anyone who has been injured in a Maryland truck accident should reach out to a dedicated personal injury attorney for assistance with their claim.

Have You Been the Victim of a Maryland Truck Accident?

If you or a love done has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience handling all types of injury claims in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We can help you evaluate the strength of your case and pursue any viable claims for compensation. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Reverses Plaintiff’s Award in Bus Accident Case Based on Improper Jury Instruction, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published June 19, 2018.

Court Upholds Multi-Million Dollar Verdict in Train Accident Case, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published August 7, 2018.

Photo Credit: Olivier Le Queinec / Shutterstock.com

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