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Are Personal Injury Lawyers Allowed to Conduct Investigations and Gather Evidence in New York?

Over the course of a trial, personal injury lawyers fill many different roles. Although they certainly appear in court and help their clients win cases, they also conduct a great deal of work outside of the courtroom. Personal injury lawyers are responsible for gathering evidence and conducting their own investigations on behalf of their clients. Even though lawyers are not detective or police officers, this is completely legal. That being said, not all evidence in New York is admissible, and lawyers must follow strict rules when conducting investigations.

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is important to rely on a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney in New York. When you team up with a skilled lawyer, you can rely on them to do the heavy lifting for you. This includes collecting evidence on your behalf, and making sure you have the best chance of success when you go to trial.

The Discovery Phase

Evidence is collected by both sides during the discovery phase of the lawsuit. This phase provides both attorneys with enough time to “discover” new facts and documents that can influence the trial. In most cases, investigations and “detective work” are not necessary. Both the defendant and the plaintiff have a legal obligation to reveal any and all relevant information during the discovery phase.

New York’s law has changed recently, and the prosecution is now required to turn over a wider range of information to the defendant. They must also hand over this information much earlier than was previously required. Fortunately, this only applies to criminal cases, and it should not have an impact on personal injury lawsuits.

Types of Evidence

There are many different types of evidence that may be used in a personal injury lawsuit. These include:

  • Testimonial Evidence: As the name suggests, this type of evidence is based on testimonies. This may include witness statements, sworn statements (affidavits), or even police reports.

  • Physical Evidence: This includes evidence of a non-biological nature. For example, a piece of physical evidence could be the remains of a faulty vacuum cleaner that exploded in your hands, causing injuries.

  • Biological Evidence: Biological evidence includes anything related to a living thing. Medical tests showing the extent of your injuries would fall into this category.

Inadmissible Evidence

Not all evidence can be used by lawyers in a trial. During the discovery phase, both attorneys must follow strict rules. They cannot request information that has no bearing on the trial, especially if this information has the potential to unnecessarily embarrass or degrade the defendant or the plaintiff. In addition, lawyers cannot request information related to the following sources:

  • Confidential conversations

  • Private matters

  • Privacy rights of third parties

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you are searching New York for a qualified personal injury attorney, look no further than The Glassman Law Group. We have been helping injury victims in New York for many years, and we can help you pursue a favorable legal outcome in an efficient manner. You can count on us to collect solid evidence and do everything else necessary to help you achieve justice.


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