How Does the Burden of Proof Apply to Personal Injury Claims?

Published on Sep 3, 2020 at 7:27 pm in Legal Information.

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Many situations have the potential to result in an accident—especially when negligent actions or inactions are involved. If you’ve been injured in an accident and are looking to receive compensation for your losses, you’ll need to build a claim that proves you were wronged because of someone else’s negligence. While you may feel the facts of your situation are straight forward, insurance companies and opposing attorneys don’t always see things the same way.

As the plaintiff, you’ll need to understand how the burden of proof applies to personal injury claims. Your lawyer can fully explain the concept of burden of proof to you and ensure your claim meets the required standards to prove you were wrongfully injured. For now, let’s take a look at the basics.

Defining the Burden of Proof in Personal Injury Law

In personal injury claims, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff. Essentially, they are required to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the defendant committed the alleged act that resulted in their injuries. Just gathering the evidence is not enough. Plaintiffs need to present their proof in a convincing manner in order to receive compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

The phrase “by a preponderance of evidence” is the idea that the plaintiff in a civil case has to prove that what they’re presenting is more likely than not true. “More likely than not” means the judge or jury believes the plaintiff’s side of the story is at least 51% true.

It’s important to note that the defendant in a civil personal injury case does not typically have to prove whether their version of the events is true, nor do they need to convince the jury of an alternative version of what the plaintiff presented. The only time a shift in the burden of proof occurs is when the defendant raises a factual matter as a defense strategy.

Challenges Plaintiffs Face With the Burden of Proof

In order to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the defendant wrongfully injured the plaintiff, the plaintiff has to overcome the challenges associated with the burden of proof. Let’s take a look at some of those challenges.

Taking the Time to Develop a Strong Case

Personal injury claims aren’t always cut and dry as far as proving liability goes. This is especially true with instances of medical malpractice—which are among the most complicated personal injury cases to settle. Because of that, it’s important for the plaintiff to feel comfortable taking the time their claim needs to be successful.

When medical bills, lost wages, and debt pile up, however, the situation can get challenging. If a plaintiff settles too early, they risk not receiving total compensation for their losses—which could result in additional debt. For some plaintiffs, the only way they can secure their future and give their lawsuit the time it needs is to apply for a pre-settlement cash advance from a lawsuit funding company.

Presenting Convincing Evidence

If a plaintiff is able to give their claim the time it needs, the next challenge they face regarding the burden of proof is presenting their evidence in a convincing manner. Their lawyer will likely handle the presentation of evidence, which could include photographs, personal statements, eyewitness testimony, police reports, medical records, expert opinions, and more.

Proving Negligence

To convince a judge or jury to make a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor, the evidence needs to strongly suggest the presence of negligence at the time of the accident. This means establishing that the defendant owed them a duty of care and breached that duty, the plaintiff was injured because of the breach, and their injuries resulted in economic and noneconomic losses.

Learn About Your Legal Funding Options

At Preferred Capital Funding, we understand personal injury claims can take more time to settle than plaintiffs would like. To give yourself the time you need to pursue a strong claim and receive the compensation that covers all of your losses, you may want to consider applying for a lawsuit cash advance.

The application process is simple. We only need basic contact information, how much you’re seeking, and your lawyer’s information. We’ll speak with them about the validity of your claim and our legal lending experts will evaluate your situation and determine your funding eligibility. You could have the money you need in as little as 24 hours, so you can manage your bills and expenses and continue to pursue the compensation you’re owed. Contact us today for more information.

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