You’ve probably heard the expression “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” when watching courtroom dramas. This phrase is used to describe the burden of proof in criminal cases. If the prosecutor is not able to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant will not be convicted. But, the rules are different in civil court. Here’s what you need to know about the burden of proof in car accident cases:
“By A Preponderance of Evidence”
Instead of “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” the burden of proof in car accident cases is “by a preponderance of evidence.” This burden of proof is lower than the one used in criminal cases.
The burden of proof falls on the plaintiff in all personal injury cases. This means it is the victim’s responsibility to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s injuries. To put it simply, the plaintiff must show the defendant was more likely than not responsible for the car accident.
How to Meet the Burden of Proof
To recover compensation, car accident victims must be able to meet the burden of proof. This involves proving:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim
- The duty of care was breached
- The breach led to the victim’s injuries
A duty of care is a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care. Every driver owes a duty of care to other drivers on the road since it is important that all drivers exercise reasonable care when behind the wheel.
Establishing the duty of care is easy, but proving that the duty of care was breached can be more difficult. Breaching a duty of care simply means failing to exercise reasonable care. In car accident cases, breaching a duty of care can mean many things, including running a red light, speeding, and driving while intoxicated. An attorney can prove that the defendant breached their duty of care by interviewing witnesses, reviewing the police report, or working with accident reconstruction experts.
If a plaintiff can prove that the accident occurred because the defendant breached their duty of care, the plaintiff has successfully proven negligence and met the burden of proof.
Have you been injured in a car accident? Discuss your case with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. We will immediately launch an investigation to gather the evidence we need to hold the other driver responsible. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.