What Does “Burden of Proof” Mean in a Legal Case?

personal injury lawsuits

In any legal case, “burden of proof” refers to the proof that a person bringing a claim uses to establish a party’s guilt. The prosecution is responsible for the burden of proof in criminal cases, whereas the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff in civil cases.

There are different standards of proof in the U.S. legal system that vary in rigor because of the disparity in punishments between criminal and civil cases. In criminal courts where the consequences of a conviction are severe and can include jail time, the evidence-related threshold is higher than in civil courts where a conviction results in monetary penalties.

If you are planning to file a personal injury claim, it is essential to understand that personal injury cases fall within civil law, so you know how the outcome of your case will be determined.

Beyond a reasonable doubt: The highest standard of proof, used only in criminal cases

Most people are familiar with the phrase “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” We hear it all the time on television shows and in movies where the defendant in a criminal case is accused of a crime but presumed innocent until proven guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of legal proof that must be met to secure a guilty verdict in a criminal case. It requires that the evidence and arguments put forward are established so clearly and convincingly that no reasonable alternative to the facts is possible.

Preponderance of Evidence: The lowest standard of proof, used only in civil cases

To win any personal injury case, a “preponderance of evidence” must persuade a judge or jury that the defendant’s negligence led to your injury, making them liable for the associated damages. Unlike criminal cases where a defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a defendant in a personal injury case need only be proven guilty on the balance of probability. In other words, if a judge or jury concludes that it is 51% likely that a claimant’s case is true, then the claimant will win.   

How does Joseph Law Group meet the burden of proof for its personal injury clients?

When an accident causes our clients a life-changing injury, our specialized team of personal injury lawyers gets to work right away to safeguard their future. We put all our resources and knowledge toward building the strongest case possible to maximize the compensation you are awarded either through a settlement or trial.

Here are some of the ways we achieve positive results for motor vehicle accident, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, industrial accident, worker’s compensation, premises liability, and dog bite injury cases:

  • Quality legal representation – While the vast majority of personal injury cases get settled before going to trial, insurance companies often deny claims, leaving victims with no other option than to go through a civil trial.When this happens, Joseph Law Groups offers the experience needed to adhere to exact legal procedures and rules, while helping our clients navigate the complexities of litigation.  
  • Thorough accident investigation – Several factors in an accident or incident can help determine the party’s liability whose negligence caused harm. We have an experienced investigator on staff who obtains valuable evidence relating to different types of accidents. When appropriate, we utilize reputable personal investigators and digital forensic service providers to strengthen a case.
  • Accurate damage assessment – Insurance companies use compensation formulas as a process to arrive at a figure that’s often lower than what a victim deserves. At Joseph Law Group, we think about the long-term impact caused by an accident. We are adept at assessing all the types of damages that may be available to maximize your financial recovery.
  • Expert witnesses – Joseph Law Group has a multitude of connections with professional experts, including medical providers with specialization in their field.  Their expert consulting and testimony services can have a strong bearing on the outcome of your lawsuit.
  • Tenacious approach – Our attorneys command respect in the courtroom. If you hire our law firm to represent you, you can rest assured knowing we are not afraid to litigate your case or fight insurance companies aggressively to get you the best outcome possible.

Selecting an established law firm with specialized experience in litigating complex personal injury cases and the right resources is crucial to your success. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please call us at (216) 912-7402. We never charge a fee unless we are successful at helping you recover compensation.

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Eliminate Your Worry & Ease Your Mind

The insurance industry is built on the avoidance of making any payments on claims. They see claims as liabilities, and initially deny, defend, and delay a claim to limit that liability and save money for the company. Ultimately, it is the job of the attorneys at Joseph Law Group to advocate on behalf of our clients and to give the insurance companies and adjusters enough reason to pay an amount of money that is fair under all circumstances. When you hire Joseph Law Group to represent your claim, you are getting a full-service team of dedicated attorneys and paralegals who will be committed to pursuing the best outcome for you from day one until trial.

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