If you get injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be surprised to learn how complicated it is to recover compensation for your damages. There are a lot of components in an injury case, not the least of which is proving the other party is at fault. Yet the burden of proof in a civil case falls on the injured victim.
Trying to understand what the burden of proof is and what you need to do can be overwhelming, which is why you may want to hire an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
Not sure if you have a third-party case? You can contact Jay Trucks to find out for free. Our law offices are available to take your call 24/7. Request your free case review to discuss your situation and get answers to your legal questions.
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What is the Burden of Proof?
The burden of proof is a key element of any injury case. The victim, called a plaintiff, has the burden of proof in a civil case. What this means is that the plaintiff must convince the jury and judge of the defendant’s negligence. What do you need to fully convince all the jury members of the other party’s fault for the accident and your injuries?
To prove negligence in an injury case, you or your attorney must be able to establish that:
The Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care
Someone owes you a duty of care when they have a legal obligation to exercise a reasonable amount of care towards you, given the relationship. Some examples of this type of relationship include:
- Doctors owe a duty to the patients in their care
- Drivers operating their vehicles on public roadways
- Landlords have a legal duty to their tenants
- Property owners have a duty of care to protect visitors from known hazards
The Duty of Care Owed Was Breached
Staying with the above examples, this could mean that:
- A doctor failed to provide the reasonable care another doctor would have done in similar circumstances.
- A driver failed to adhere to traffic laws, such as stopping at a red light, as a reasonable driver would have done.
- Landlords who fail to properly maintain their properties, such as replacing lights in dark hallways
- Property owners are responsible for fixing known hazards, such as downed trees, that could injure a visitor
The Breach of Duty Caused the Accident and Your Injuries
This means proving that but for the breach and resulting accident, you would not have been injured.
You Suffered Damages as a Result
The damages a victim may have suffered could include a number of things, such as:
- Ambulance transportation to the hospital
- Emergency room medical examination
- Any diagnostic testing or surgery required
- Prescription medication for pain management
- Lost wages if you are unable to work while recovering
- Property damages sustained in the incident
- And more
How Much Proof is Needed in a Civil Injury Case?
If you are pursuing compensation for damages in a personal injury case, then you must prove your case by a preponderance of evidence. This is much less than for a criminal case which requires proving your case beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a civil case, this means you must convince the jury that your version of what happened is more likely accurate than not.
For example, say the victim was injured in a car crash because the defendant ran a red light. Evidence that may help to support that claim and prove the defendant was negligent might include:
- A traffic ticket
- Camera footage
- Police report
- Crash debris
- Photos of the crash site and vehicle damages
- Statements from witnesses
Additionally, you will need to link the damages you suffered, which could include your medical costs, lost wages, property damages, and more, to that incident.
Why Does the Burden of Proof Matter to Your Case?
In clear terms, if you cannot prove your case, then you will not recover compensation for your damages. This is why we strongly recommend that you consider seeking legal help. Our personal injury lawyers in Clare handle cases like these every day and know how to build a strong case on your behalf.
Does the Defendant Have a Responsibility in an Injury Case?
The defendant has more of a role than a responsibility. He or she will be looking to dispute every piece of evidence that you present. Additionally, the defendant’s attorney will also look for ways to discredit your statements and evidence. Casting doubt on your credibility, for instance, could call into question every statement you make. This could seriously damage the outcome of your claim.
Having a knowledgeable attorney representing you can greatly benefit your claim. Attorneys are familiar with the tactics of insurance companies and their lawyers and know how to dispute their arguments.
Need Help With a Personal Injury Case? Call Jay Trucks for Legal Help Today
At Jay Trucks, we fight hard for our clients, and we have recovered millions in compensation on their behalf. You pay no upfront costs to hire our services and nothing throughout the legal process. We do not get paid our fees unless we first win your case.
Experienced. Local. Lawyers. (989) 244-0440