Lay Witness Opinion Testimony (Cause of Accident)

Written by Joseph Collison on . Posted in Legal Updates

Lay opinion testimony is permitted by MRE 701 as follows:

If the witness is not testifying as an expert, the witness’ testimony in the form of opinions or inferences, including how an accident occurred, is limited to those opinions or inferences which are (a) rationally based on the perception of the witness and (b) helpful to a clear understanding of the witness’ testimony or the determination of a fact in issue.

Courts have liberally applied MRE 701 to enable the trier of fact to develop a clearer understanding of the facts. People v Oliver, 170 Mich App 38, 50; 427 NW2d 898 (1988), mod on other grounds 433 Mich 862 (1989).