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What is Burden of Proof

What is burden of proof? If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, this may be an essential part of your case.

You may have been the innocent victim of an accident or incident that took place because of the negligence or recklessness of another party. If the insurance company of that party admitted that their client was at fault, and you have accepted a monetary settlement that is fair and just for the injuries you sustained; this will not apply to you.

However, as is often the case in many instances, if you have been the victim of an accident or incident due to the negligence of another party, and the insurance company of that party is denying their client’s responsibility for the accident or is trying to get you to accept a monetary settlement that is far lower than what you deserve; burden of proof may be a vital issue.

Fair settlement


If with the assistance of a personal injury attorney‘s negotiations (this is what it almost always takes), the insurance company offers you a fair and just monetary settlement; burden of proof will not be an issue. However, if an agreement is not reached between you and the other party’s insurance company, and you have to go to court; burden of proof is critical to winning your claim.

To put it simply, burden of proof is the obligation to prove one’s assertion. As it applies to a criminal case, burden of proof means that the prosecutor has the difficult task of proving that the defendant (accused) is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Preponderance of evidence


As it applies to a personal injury claim, burden of proof is the requirement that you, as the plaintiff, the one bringing the lawsuit, have to show by a “preponderance of evidence” or “weight of evidence” that all the facts that are necessary to win a judgment are presented and are probably true.

While not easy to do, this is not as difficult as the proof a prosecutor has to establish to get a guilty verdict in a criminal case. However, ultimately, it will be the jury that determines whether you have met the burden of proof in your personal injury case.

Lower burden


What this means is that there is a lower burden of proof in a personal injury case as opposed to a criminal case. What you have to proof is that the facts you are presenting are “more likely than not” what you say they are.

“More likely than not” is another way of saying “by a preponderance of evidence.” This means that the jury believes that your version of the facts has at least a 51% chance of being true and no more than a 49% chance of being false. 50% is not good enough.

If you have been the innocent victim of an accident or incident that occurred as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another party, and you want to get a fair and just monetary settlement for the injuries you suffered; the wise thing to do is to let a personal injury attorney evaluate your case at no cost or obligation to you.

Article written by James Shugart

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