How Louisiana Attorneys Establish Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Claim
A good personal injury attorney understands what you need to build a great case. To win your case, they must prove how your injuries impact your life. Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys understands that after an accident you may experience ongoing effects for many years to come. That is why our New Orleans personal injury attorney goes after the highest amount of compensation possible to help ensure that you are cared for well after the physical evidence of your injuries begin to fade away.
Preponderance of Evidence
The preponderance of evidence refers to how likely it is that the injured party’s damages (physical injury, material damages, emotional stress, etc.) are true. The “burden of proof” must apply to each individual aspect of the case. For the claimant to win their lawsuit, the jury or judge must decide at least 51% or higher in their favor on one or more of the aspects of the case. A qualified personal injury attorney must be able to gather enough evidence to prove the defendant’s liability, either in part or in full.
In most cases, the court will require physical proof over and above the plaintiff’s injuries before they will award any degree of damages. This can include:
- Video or photographic evidence of the accident that shows the defendant was negligent
- Medical records offer evidence that the injuries caused by the defendant or an agent of the defendant
- Financial records that show incurred debt caused by medical expenses and loss of work
- Eyewitness accounts of the accident that support the claims of the plaintiff
A reputable New Orleans personal injury attorney may have to do extensive amounts of research to uncover the necessary testimony. They may also subpoena videotapes and records from the defendant if not provided willingly.
An Affirmative Defense
If an affirmative defense is outlined by the defendant, the burden of proof then falls on their side. In some cases, both sides may be able to partially prove a portion of their case. When this happens, it is up to the judge or jury to find a middle ground where both parties can agree on what degree of damages one or the other should be liable for. Even with an affirmative defense, the plaintiff may still receive compensation, depending on the nature of the case and the extent of the defendant liability.
The Duty of Care
Negligence is often considered to be the main basis for many personal injury claims. The duty of care implies that the defendant should have provided for the safety of the plaintiff to some degree, but failed, thus resulting in the claimed injuries:
- The defendant violated or breached the duty of care because their actions, if any, were below expectaions to keep the plaintiff safe and free from harm
- The defendant was negligent to the point that their actions or lack thereof were directly responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries
- The plaintiff’s injuries can only receive compensation by the defendant paying for the damages caused by the accident
Punitive damages can be much more difficult to prove.
Videotaped evidence supports physical injuries, especially in the area where the accident happened. Mot
Physical injuries can be firmly supported by videotaped surveillance of the area in which the accident happened, medical records, and eyewitness accounts.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, aren’t so tangible. The plaintiff may be diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a result of the accident. The diagnosis offers a physical record. However, the limitations it puts on the plaintiff reach far beyond the scope of physical injuries. The judge will award punitive damages only if he believes the defendant’s actions truly altered the way the plaintiff lives their life and reacts to the world around them.
For a personal injury attorney to be effective:
- Prove, beyond a doubt, that the defendant’s actions (or lack of) were the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Adequately explain in great detail the plaintiff’s claim and how the defendant was to blame.
- Link the actions and the injuries. In most cases, this explains why the injuries happened. Not only that, but what preventative steps the defendant should take in the heat of the moment.
Contact a New Orleans personal injury attorney Today!
At Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, our ultimate goal is to provide a sufficient burden of proof. The connection established by the burden of proof lays a solid foundation for a judge; thus allowing them to award compensation to pay for resulting injuries and damages. Hurt in an accident in Louisiana? Contact a New Orleans personal injury attorney at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys. You can calls us 24/7 at (504) 345-1111 or use our convenient LiveChat on our website. We offer free consults and no fees unless you win your case! Don’t wait. We look forward to working with you.