In many cases in which parties are involved in a car accident, the police will investigate the collision and take statements from the drivers and passengers involved and any witnesses who observed the event. While such statements may contain helpful or incriminating evidence, it is unlikely that they can be introduced during a trial in the Florida courts. The reasoning behind precluding statements from a police report during a trial was recently discussed in a Florida case in which the court denied the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of an order denying her right to introduce such information. If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to retain a seasoned Florida personal injury attorney who will fight to help you protect your interests.
Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant drove onto a sidewalk and struck and killed the plaintiff’s decedent. A Florida police officer that investigated the accident took statements from the defendant and her passenger and drafted a report that included the findings of his investigation, including the statements. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging wrongful death, and negligence claims. Prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion in limine, asking the court to preclude the accident report and the statements therein from admission into evidence. The court granted the motion, after which the plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration.
Grounds for Granting a Motion for Reconsideration
Under Florida law, in order for a motion for reconsideration to be granted, a party must show why the court should reevaluate its prior decision and must set forth strongly convincing law or facts that will persuade the court to reverse its prior ruling. Generally, a court will accept three grounds for reconsidering an order: a change in the controlling law, new evidence that was previously unavailable, or the need to prevent manifest injustice by correcting an error. The party asking the court to reconsider an order bears the burden of proving a reconsideration is warranted.