With criminal cases, a defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to be charged with a crime. However, with a personal injury case, the burden of proof is lower and is based on a preponderance of the evidence. Still, it can be very difficult to prove that the other party is at fault without the help of a personal injury lawyer.
The Plaintiff Has the Burden of Proof
In a criminal case, the prosecutor will have the burden of proof to find the defendant guilty. However, in a personal injury case, you will be responsible for proving that the other party is guilty. Fortunately, you are able to hire a personal injury attorney who can assist you in making a solid case in the courtroom.
The preponderance of the evidence refers to a situation in which it is more likely than not that the defendant was responsible for your injuries based on the evidence. It is difficult to determine if you will win a personal injury case because each case is unique and some courtrooms will weigh certain types of evidence more heavily than others.
Negligence in Personal Injury Cases
Simply having an accident and becoming injured is not enough to receive compensation for your injuries. You must also prove that the other party had a duty of care, that they breached the duty of care, and that you suffered damages as a result.
For example, in a car accident case, you may be able to prove that you were injured and that the defendant was negligent by entering your lane, but the negligence did not specifically cause your damages. There might be another party who was negligent such as the city for constructing the roads in a confusing manner. Or, the driver might have lost control of their vehicle with a defect found in the car and the auto manufacturer might be at fault.
The Importance of Evidence
The court will not accept your version of the events without evidence. This can include photographs that were taken at the scene of the accident, eyewitness testimony, and anything that can be logically inferred from the evidence.
Your personal injury attorney will help you determine whether you should take your case to trial or should settle it out of court. If you choose to go to trial, your attorney will present an opening and closing argument, cross-examine witnesses, and present evidence of negligence on the part of the defendant.