Circumstantial Evidence legal definition: Circumstantial evidence is defined as information that strongly suggests that a fact is true, but does not prove it. Often used in conjunction with direct evidence, the purpose of circumstantial evidence is to help infer that a legal theory or set of circumstances is true. While circumstantial evidence is widely viewed as weaker than direct evidence, it is an important component of civil and criminal cases alike.
In fact, circumstantial evidence is an important tool in establishing liability in many types of personal injury cases. Successful personal injury claims often include both circumstantial and direct evidence.
Circumstantial Evidence in Car Accident Injury Cases
Circumstantial evidence is used often in car accident cases to prove the crash that caused your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence. A skilled car accident injury attorney may use many different kinds of circumstantial evidence in your case to help prove liability.
Types of circumstantial evidence used in car accident injury cases include:
Photographs of the crash scene
Diagrams depicting how the crash occurred
Images depicting the damage to your car, as well as all other motor vehicles involved in the accident
Eyewitness and expert testimony
Crash scene reconstruction diagrams or videos
Circumstantial Evidence in Medical Malpractice Cases
Circumstantial evidence can be a crucial component of medical malpractice cases, as well. To prove medical negligence, attorneys representing injury victims may employ a legal doctrine known as Res Ipsa Loquitur – a latin term that means “the thing speaks for itself.”
This type of circumstantial evidence must show that:
The incident or injury could not have occurred without negligence
The injury could only be caused by the defendant
The injury victim could not have contributed to the accident
As in other types of personal injury cases, testimony offered by expert witnesses is also a type of circumstantial evidence utilized to prove medical malpractice claims.
Circumstantial Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
The most common form of evidence used in personal injury claims, and is especially true in product liability and car accident cases. Much of the forensic evidence used in these types of personal injury cases are considered circumstantial.
Forensic evidence such as skidmark analysis, crash reconstruction diagrams or videos, and other physical evidence that helps suggest but not prove liability and/or negligence is considered indirect or circumstantial in car accident injury cases.
In many instances, product liability cases utilize circumstantial evidence such as expert witness testimony. In other cases, circumstantial evidence is used to establish that a product defect causes your injury. This type of circumstantial evidence could include:
Information related to the history and use of the product that caused the accident
Information regarding similar accidents and injuries caused by the product that harmed you
Information regarding similar products that causes similar accidents
Information regarding the most likely cause of the malfunction in the product that caused your injury
Circumstantial Evidence in Workers’ Compensation Cases
In Pennsylvania workers’ compensation cases, circumstantial evidence would be utilized in situations where the severity of your injury, its impact on your ability to perform the essential functions of your job, and the extent that your injury is disabling is disputed.
If you’ve been denied workers’ compensation benefits, or your workers’ comp benefits have been suspended or terminated, circumstantial evidence would be used to help prove your case and recover the compensation you deserve for your injury.
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“If someone has a serious case, they will get a great effort and a great outcome working with us,” award-winning attorney Victor Pribanic of Pribanic & Pribanic told Best Lawyers Magazine.