If you have seen a movie or television show that depicts a trial or a deposition, you have probably heard a lawyer yell “objection”. Though this is frequently exaggerated and over-dramatized in popular culture, objections are actually one of the most important tools a lawyer has to protect the rights and interests of their client. In this article, our top-rated Los Angeles car accident attorneys explain the most important things that victims need to know about legal objections.
Understanding the Legal Process: What is an ‘Objection’?
Under United States law, an objection is a formal protest that is raised in a trial, a deposition, or in another type of official legal proceeding. The purpose of an objection is to get certain testimony or evidence disallowed from the case. An attorney can object to evidence being submitted into the court record and they can also object to a certain line of questioning. It is up to the judge to decide if an objection is appropriate. If a judge sustains an objection, that means that the judge agrees with it — as a result, the evidence, testimony, or a question will be disallowed. Of course, judges can also overrule an objection. A lawyer cannot object simply because they do not like the evidence or a certain question. To be upheld, an objection must have a solid legal basis.
Five Important Objections in Personal Injury Claims
In personal injury claims, an objection may be leveled during discovery, during a deposition, or during litigation. There are many different reasons why your lawyer may decide to raise an objection. Some of the most important legal objections are as follows:
- Ambiguous/Misleading: If you are in a personal injury deposition, you are under no obligation to answer questions that are ambiguous or otherwise misleading. Your lawyer can object to this line of questioning.
- Lack of Relevance: Relevance matters. One of the important legal objections is on the grounds of ‘irrelevance’. Irrelevant information can sometimes lead to misleading or unfair conclusions.
- Speculation: In personal injury claims, speculation is generally ill-advised. Often, in personal injury depositions, legal representatives for defendants and insurance companies will try to encourage general speculation — hoping they can draw out a statement that hurts the victim’s case. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can object to a speculative line of questioning.
- Hearsay: As a general rule, hearsay is not admissible evidence. A personal injury claim is not the place to litigate rumors, innuendo, or other unreliable/unsubstantiated information. Unless an exception applies, hearsay should be objected to.
- Badgering: Witnesses should not be badgered or intimidated. If an opposing attorney is badgering the injured victim or any other witness, an objection can be raised.
Contact Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers Today
At our office, our California personal injury attorneys have recovered tens of millions in financial compensation for our clients. If you or your loved one suffered a serious injury, we can help you hold the negligent party and their insurance company accountable. For a free, no-obligation case evaluation, please do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles office today.