Unlike criminal cases where the prosecution is required to provide enough proof to convince the judge and jury of guilt, a personal injury case works a bit differently. In a personal injury case, the “burden of proof” falls instead to the victim or plaintiff, who must provide enough evidence that they have been injured due to negligence on behalf of the defendant. But how exactly does this burden of proof translate in a courtroom setting?
“More Likely Than Not”
When it comes to prosecuting a criminal case, the prosecution is responsible to prove the case “beyond a reasonable doubt” which means there needs to be concrete evidence, and a lot of it. In a civil case, which include personal injury, the plaintiff or injured party has a significantly lower burden of proof. Rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt” the plaintiff must provide enough evidence of “more likely than not.”
Rather than having to convince a jury that the defendant is, without a doubt, guilty of negligence, the injured party must, instead, convince them that their facts and evidence regarding their case is at least 51% true.
For the Defense
During a civil case, the defendant, or the party that is considered to be “at fault” for negligence, isn’t responsible for providing an alternative story or chain of events leading up to the injury. Instead, all that is necessary to cause a case to fail is that they convince the jury that over half of what the plaintiff is saying is inaccurate or untrue. The problem for the plaintiff in this case is that their case is hedging on what is little better than 50-50 odds.
Hire an Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, then you’re stuck with carrying the burden of proof for your case. Supplying enough evidence to convince the judge and jury that your version of the events is at least 51% in your favor can be difficult at the best of times. When you’re trying to represent yourself, it might even be impossible.
Because of that, it’s important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney representing your case. In the case of injury, hiring an attorney sooner, rather than later, can give them enough time to help you collect the necessary evidence that your version of the events that led to you being injured is the correct and true version.
If you’ve been injured then you might have a long road ahead of you. Not only do you have to deal with the pain and suffering that is caused by the injury but there’s also the considerable medical expenses that comes with treatment and care. These expenses can be further complicated by the fact that your injury might prevent you from being able to work.
If you don’t want to leave your future hanging on what is little better than the flip of a coin, then it’s always in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney. Don’t leave your future to chance, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney regarding your case today.
Michael Schreyer is a personal injury attorney in Maryland and is a partner in the firm of Alpert Schreyer, LLC. He is an experienced personal injury attorney, serving the Maryland and Washington, DC area and providing information and advice on his law blog at dcmdlaw.com.