Have you been hurt in an accident? You might be thinking about what you need to do to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Winning a personal injury lawsuit means showing that someone else was careless or negligent. This responsibility is called the ‘burden of proof.’
But what does “burden of proof” mean in a personal injury case, and how can you prove someone was negligent?
What Does Burden of Proof Mean?
The term “burden of proof” is a bit like a challenge in a game where you need to show enough proof or evidence to win your case in court. Think of it like showing enough puzzle pieces to complete the picture.
Usually, the person who brings the lawsuit to court (the one who files the claim) is the one who has to meet this challenge.
Who Must Prove Their Case in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In Texas, if you’re the one who got hurt and you’re suing (you’re the plaintiff), you carry this burden of proof. This means you need to gather enough evidence to show that the person you’re suing (the defendant) caused your injuries.
The defendant might show their own evidence to dispute your claim, but they don’t have to. Since you’re the one who initiated the lawsuit, it’s up to you to convince the court or jury that you were hurt and deserve money for your injuries.
What Are the Main Types of Burden of Proof?
In most court cases, one of the following three main standards must be met to win:
- Beyond a reasonable doubt: This is the toughest standard and is mostly used in criminal trials. It means the prosecution has to prove the case so strongly that the jury has no real doubts about the defendant being guilty.
- Clear and convincing evidence: This standard applies when plaintiffs don’t need as much proof as ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ but still need more than just ‘more likely than not.’ Clear and convincing evidence may be required to obtain punitive damages. The person with this burden must show that what they’re claiming is very likely true.
- Preponderance of the evidence: This is the standard usually used in civil cases, like personal injury lawsuits. It means the plaintiff must prove that what they’re saying is more likely true than not. Think of it like tipping the scales slightly in their favor – just over 50% likely to be true.
The applicable standard will depend on the type of case.
How Your Lawyer Proves Your Case in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In a personal injury case, your lawyer has a big job. They need to collect evidence and show a clear link between what the other person did (or didn’t do) and your injury. First, they show that the other person had a responsibility to not harm you. Then, they need to prove that they failed in this responsibility and caused you harm.
Next, your personal injury attorney must connect the harm directly to the accident that hurt you. Lastly, your lawyer works to convince the judge and jury that this accident caused you to suffer losses, and you should be compensated.
The good news is the jury only needs to believe it’s more likely than not that the other person acted negligently. This makes it easier for people to win their personal injury cases.
How to Meet the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case
To meet the burden of proof, you can use different types of evidence. This might include photos of the accident, reports from doctors or mechanics, notes about your injuries, or even videos from the scene.
Let’s say you had an accident because someone was using their phone while driving. You need to prove that their distraction caused the crash. It might feel tough to gather all this evidence when you know you’re right, but it’s important to show clear proof to protect everyone from false claims.
For instance, if someone crashed into your motorcycle because they weren’t paying attention, you’d need to show evidence. This evidence may include repair estimates, statements from people who saw the accident, and your medical reports. This proof helps make your case stronger than just stating what happened.
Contact Experienced Friendswood Personal Injury Attorneys
In navigating the complexities of a personal injury case in Friendswood, TX, having an experienced attorney on your side can make a significant difference. At the Law Firm of Alton C. Todd, our team of skilled Friendswood personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping you meet the burden of proof and fight for the compensation you deserve.
We understand the challenges and nuances of personal injury law and are committed to providing you with personalized and effective legal representation. contact the Law Firm of Alton C. Todd today at (281) 992-8633 for a free consultation, and let us help you take the first step towards justice and recovery.