Anyone who must pursue a personal injury case after an auto accident to get the compensation they deserve faces many new and often confusing legal terms. Only by understanding a little about these terms can you get the best results in your case.
One such legal concept is that of the burden of proof. What is the burden of proof in your accident case? And how can you meet it? Here are some answers to your questions.
What Is the Burden of Proof?
In a legal case, the burden of proof is the requirement that the plaintiff proves their accusations against the defendant through a certain minimum level of evidence. This burden of proof, often referred to as the preponderance of evidence, rests on the plaintiff bringing the injury case to the court.
So, how much evidence is considered a preponderance of evidence and satisfies the burden of proof? Unlike criminal cases which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, civil case plaintiffs must at least show that the defendant is more likely to be liable than not. But because this isn't an exact science, more proof is always better than less.
How Do You Meet the Burden of Proof?
When building your injury case, your attorney always remains cognizant that the burden to prove each element of the case falls on you as the plaintiff. This means that nothing can be taken for granted.
A personal injury case must generally prove four key elements. These are that the defendant had a duty of care, that they breached this duty, that they caused certain injuries, and that the plaintiff suffered a loss as a result. While it may seem slow and painstaking, the attorney must demonstrate each element clearly.
Meeting the burden of proof can feel redundant or unnecessary at times. A pedestrian injured by a car on the road may believe it's obvious that the driver was at fault. However, this case must show that the driver had a duty of care to act cautiously around pedestrians. They will also show that injuries came from the accident rather than any preexisting conditions or post-accident injury.
All this takes time and may result in more work than seems necessary to the untrained eye.
Where Can You Start?
The burden of proof can be met, but your best resource is the work of an experienced auto accident attorney in your state. They will work with you to gather documents, statements, reports, photos, and witnesses which all work together to form the preponderance of evidence needed. Make an appointment today to learn more.
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