What is the Burden of Proof? How Does it Affect my Case?
If you’ve suffered personal injury, it’s important to know what you need to win your case. Meeting the burden of proof is a requirement for compensation. Here are the basics from our attorneys at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys.
The burden of proof is the standard by which you, the plaintiff, will have to meet in order to win your case. For criminal cases, the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” For civil cases, such as personal injury lawsuits, the burden of proof is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” A preponderance of the evidence means it is more likely (at least 51%) than not that what you stated before the judge/jury is true.
In the Court
When presenting your side of the story, it is your job to meet the burden of proof. Be prepared – the defendant is not required to prove that their version of events is true. One exception to this is when the defendant presents what is called an affirmative defense, which is the addition of facts that defeats or negates your narrative. In that instance, the defendant must meet the burden of proof.
Duty of Care and Causation
As the plaintiff, you must prove the:
- Defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care and caution,
- Breach of duty of care, and
- Breach of duty inevitably caused you personal injury.
Take driving a vehicle, for example. Every person must uphold the duty of care when driving. This means everyone must drive safely so they and others on the road do not get injured. In other words, the duty of care means acting in a reasonable, responsible, safe manner.
When it comes down to the breach of duty of care, evidence such as police reports or other documents showing the defendant was not acting in a reasonable, responsible, safe manner can help your case. A report showing that the defendant was driving drunk, tailgating, speeding, or performing other unsafe actions bolsters the evidence for your case.
Causation means that were it not for the defendant’s actions, your personal injury would not have happened. This sounds simple in some cases; for example, if your hand was crushed by a tire, there is a clear causation. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, it can become more difficult to prove that the defendant and not your pre-existing condition caused you injury. Medical bills, photographic evidence, and expert medical testimony can all help prove there is in fact a causation.
Questions about Burden of Proof?
If so, contact your 24/7 injury attorneys at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys! Call us anytime at (504) 345-1111, or visit our office Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm. If you prefer to contact us online, visit our website and check out ourLiveChat feature. Consultations are free. We do not accept fees unless we’ve won your case, so don’t hesitate, contact us today!
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.