Louisiana injury victims have the right to seek compensation for their damages from the at-fault party. You may have heard that the burden of proof in these types of claims is on the victim, but do you know what that means?
Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced lawyers discuss this concept below, including the preponderance of evidence standard and why the burden is on the victim and the victim’s attorney.
Our attorneys have been representing the injured in Lafayette and the surrounding areas for decades. We know how to prove cases and gather evidence to seek maximum compensation for damages.
If you have any questions after suffering an injury, contact us to find out how we may be able to help you. There are no upfront costs with our services.
Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call us for assistance: (337) 984-8020.
What is the Definition of Preponderance of Evidence?
The burden of proof in a personal injury case is proof by the preponderance of evidence. This means you need to prove it is more likely than not that your claim is true, and that the other party was negligent. Another way of saying this is that there is at least a 51 percent chance the case is true.
Technically, this only applies to court cases, as juries need to determine if the case is more than likely to be true. However, insurance companies are going to consider this standard when injured victims file a claim. If the insurance company thinks your Lafayette personal injury lawyer is probably going to be able to prove your case in court, they may be more likely to offer more compensation to avoid a lawsuit.
Preponderance of evidence does not mean you have more evidence than the other side. Instead, it means your evidence is sufficient proof of negligence.
What is Negligence?
Negligence refers to a failure to uphold a duty of care owed to the victim of an injury. A duty of care is a duty to act reasonably to prevent someone else from suffering an injury. If a duty of care is breached, and this is the direct cause of an injury that resulted in damages, there may be a valid personal injury case.
There are many duties of care that people may owe to others. For example, drivers owe a duty of care to others to follow the law and operate their cars in a reasonably safe manner.
How This Differs From the Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Standard
You may have heard that criminal cases employ the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. However, civil cases apply the preponderance of evidence standard.
It is important to note that even though the preponderance of evidence standard is lower than beyond a reasonable doubt, injury cases can still be challenging to prove. You need an experienced lawyer to prove your case, he or she also needs time to build a case. That is why you need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
Who Has the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case?
You, as the plaintiff, have the burden of proof for the case. It is up to you to prove the case because you are the one filing a claim and seeking compensation.
On some level this might not seem fair, as you were the one who suffered an injury through no fault of your own. However, it would not be fair for the at-fault party to have to prove they did not do something.
One way to think about this is that there is sort of a presumption of innocence for the defendant. It would be unfair if people could claim an injury caused by negligence and the burden was on the other side to prove otherwise.
You might think the at-fault party still has to disprove your claims. The court or jury does not need to be convinced about the defense’s arguments. They simply need to be convinced that the victim’s claims are false.
Does the Defendant Ever Have the Burden of Proof?
There are times when the defense may have the burden of proof, such as when they are bringing an affirmative defense to your claim. For example, sometimes defendants claim the victim knowingly and willingly put himself or herself at risk of injury, making him or her responsible for the injury.
This is a defense the insurance company might raise if you were injured during a potentially dangerous activity. However, an assumption of the risk defense can be challenging to prove. Sometimes people get injured because of negligence they were not warned about.
Galloway Jefcoat Helps Injured Victims in Louisiana. Call Today
You do not need to battle the insurance company on your own. You have the right to hire an attorney to manage every aspect of your case. This frees you up to focus on your medical care.
Our firm has secured hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients. We manage cases on contingency, which means you pay no upfront fees.
Galloway Jefcoat is available to assist you. Contact us today: (337) 984-8020.