What is the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case

In order to be successful in a personal injury case, it is crucial that the plaintiff presents enough evidence to meet the burden of proof. This means that the plaintiff’s attorney must convince a judge or jury that they have overcome a certain level of doubt. In a personal injury case, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was negligent and that the plaintiff was injured in some way as a result of that negligence.


What is a Preponderance of the Evidence?

The preponderance of the evidence is a lower level of a burden than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard applied in a criminal case. The preponderance of the evidence means that the evidence shows that it is more likely than not that something happened. This means that a minimum of 51% of the evidence presented must support the plaintiff’s version of what happened.

While meeting the burden of proof is not impossible, it is important to approach it carefully. Not just any evidence should be used. It is important that the evidence is credible and that a judge or jury can rely on its truth. The burden of proof applies to every element of a case. Therefore, your attorney must prove that there was negligence, that you were injured, and that the negligence was the cause of the injury. The final say in whether the burden of proof has been met is the judge or jury.


Shifting the Burden of Proof

In some instances, the defendant will have the burden of proof regarding certain things. For instance, if a defendant raises a factual matter as a defense, then they will have to prove that factual matter by a preponderance of the evidence. An example of this will be if the defendant claims they were not the driver of the vehicle that struck the plaintiff. The defendant has the burden of proving that factual assertion.


Contact an Experienced Attorney                        

Meeting the burden of proof can be a complex matter, so if you’ve been injured, you may want to consult with an experienced attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping the injured for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.