When you file a personal injury claim against another individual or entity, you are only eligible to receive compensation if you can prove that your injuries exist and they were caused by someone else’s actions or negligence. You may be surprised to learn that the standard of proof for personal injury cases is different from the standard of proof in a criminal matter. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the burden of proof in personal injury cases, and we explain some of the ways you can prove your injury case in today’s blog.
The Burden Of Proof
In a criminal matter, the prosecution must prove that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” in order to earn a conviction. The standard in a personal injury case is a little different. In injury cases, you must prove that your claims are true based on the “preponderance of the evidence.” But what exactly does that mean?
While some people may interpret that definition slightly differently, a preponderance of evidence essentially means that the totality of evidence suggests that your case is stronger than the other side’s case. If a judge or jury finds that you are even slightly more credible than the other side, you will have met the preponderance of evidence.
That said, the burden of proof to establish the preponderance of evidence will fall on the victim because they are the one seeking compensation. The defendant does not need to prove that their version of events is the absolute truth, they can simply work to discredit the alleged victim and argue that their narrative is not true.
Establishing The Burden Of Proof
So what are some of the best ways to establish this burden of proof if you are attempting to collect compensation? For starters, you need to prove negligence or fault. You do this by working to establish four specific criteria, which are:
Duty of Care – You need to show that the other party had a duty of care or an obligation to prevent others from being injured.
Breach of Duty of Care – You need to show that an individual or entity failed to uphold this duty of care. Failing to safely control a vehicle or clean up a wet spot in an entryway are two examples of a breach of duty of care.
Existence of Damages – You need to prove that compensable injuries or damages exist.
Causation – You must show that the breach of duty of care led to the existence of compensable damages.
But what are some ways that you can work to prove these elements of a personal injury case? Evidence and records that are commonly used to strengthen the burden of proof for a claimant include:
- Photographs from the scene
- Witness testimony
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
- Police reports
- Your version of events
- Video recordings or text message records
But perhaps the best way to establish the burden of proof in your favor is to have an experienced injury lawyer by your side. They’ll be able to draw a strong and concise narrative to showcase that the other party was at fault for your injuries. We’ve done it for countless clients in the past, and we’d be more than happy to do the same for you.
For more information about establishing the burden of proof in a personal injury case, or for answers to questions about a different injury issue, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today at (952) 230-2700.