top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

The Role of the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case

When individuals suffer injuries in an accident due to another's negligence, they may be able to pursue compensatory damages by filing a personal injury claim or a lawsuit. To win the case, the plaintiff has the burden of proof to prove that the defendant acted negligently, resulting in their injuries.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have helped injured victims recover millions of dollars by pursuing personal injury claims and lawsuits against the responsible parties. They can protect the rights of the affected parties in Indianapolis, Indiana, and guide them on their legal options. They can also help with questions like what is gross negligence?


What Is the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case?

What Is the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case?


The burden of proof exists in both personal injury and criminal cases. In a criminal case, the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor. On the other hand, the plaintiff has the burden of proof in a personal injury case.


Under personal injury law, the standard of the burden of proof is the preponderance of evidence, which is much lower than the standard applicable to criminal cases.


In a personal injury case, the plaintiff must convince the jury by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is more likely than not to have acted negligently.


The plaintiff must establish the elements of negligence by providing adequate evidence to convince the jury that their version of events is accurate.


Although the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff in a personal injury case, the defendant may present their arguments to convince the jury that the plaintiff's version of the events is inaccurate.

The defendant could also use legal defenses, argue that there are multiple versions of the story, or simply persuade the jury into believing that they didn't know what happened.


It is crucial for the plaintiff to build their personal injury case carefully. Any mistakes or holes in their version of the events can weaken their claim or lawsuit, lowering their chances of obtaining fair compensation.


What Is the Burden of Proof in a Criminal Case?


The preponderance of the evidence standard does not apply to criminal cases. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. They must present evidence to convince the jury that the "offender" committed the offenses.


Compared to the preponderance of the evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt is a much higher standard. This is because a criminal case can have an adverse impact on the defendant's life, and it is crucial that the jury is fully convinced of the crimes charged by the state. Any doubts may result in the dismissal of the case.


What Should the Plaintiffs Prove to Meet the Burden of Proof Standard in Personal Injury Cases?


When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiffs must prove the elements of negligence or intentional misconduct, depending on the circumstances of their case.


To establish the elements of negligence, the plaintiff must provide evidence to demonstrate the following:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff the duty of care;

  • The defendant breached their duty by acting negligently;

  • The plaintiff suffered injuries due to the defendant's negligence; and

  • The plaintiff incurred damages arising from their injuries.

In order for the plaintiff to meet the burden of proof in a personal injury case, they must provide evidence for each of the elements of the case. This requires them to build their lawsuit methodically by gathering the necessary evidence.


A plaintiff may submit medical records and doctor's notes, for example, to show that their injuries occurred right after the car accident caused by the defendant's negligence.


There are many different types of evidence the plaintiff may present, depending on the circumstances of the case. Some of these include the following:


Photographs and Videos of the Accident Scene

When an accident occurs, it's essential for the injured party to take photographs and videos of the scene, the injuries sustained, and other important elements.


A picture of a joint found at the scene, for example, could suggest that the other party was under the influence of marijuana prior to the accident.


In some cases, the injured party may be unable to gather evidence due to the severity of their injuries. They must reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney in Indianapolis IN to start building the case while they take the time to recover.


Police Report

After an accident, police officers may visit the scene to file an official police report. This is an important piece of evidence that the injured party must get a hold of.


A police report contains information pertaining to the incident that can help meet the burden of proof standard in a personal injury case.


Medical Records

An accident could result in injuries, which is why the affected party must seek medical treatment immediately. A medical examination following the incident could demonstrate that the plaintiff suffered injuries following the incident.


The plaintiff must maintain a physical folder to collect the medical bills, records, and other relevant documents following the accident. This can help them build a strong case.


Expert Testimonies

Sometimes, it can be challenging to prove the value of damages incurred following an accident. Mental trauma after a car accident, for example, can be difficult to demonstrate to the jury in a personal injury lawsuit.


By gathering expert testimonies, the plaintiffs can prove that their injuries have had a detrimental impact on their mental health.


A psychological assessment can demonstrate that the negligent act the defendant committed continues to haunt the plaintiff, adversely affecting their daily routine.


How Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Can Help Meet the Burden of Proof


Meeting the burden of proof without legal representation in personal injury lawsuits can be challenging. It can adversely impact the outcome of the case.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have deep knowledge of personal injury law and extensive experience fighting lawsuits in court. As well as assumption of risk in a personal injury case. They can help the injured victims in many ways, including the following:

  • Gathering clear and convincing evidence can be a time-consuming and challenging task. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have the connections and resources to retrieve CCTV footage, accident reports, witness statements, and other types of evidence to establish the elements of a personal injury case.

  • Presenting evidence to a jury in a convincing manner can be difficult. Fortunately, the legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has successful trial experience. They know how to build a personal injury case.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Ready to Build a Strong Lawsuit and Present Evidence in Court!

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Ready to Build a Strong Lawsuit and Present Evidence in Court!


Although the standard of the burden of proof is much lower in civil cases, proving negligence without legal representation can be difficult. Those who have suffered injuries due to another's negligence in Indianapolis, Indiana, must call to schedule a free consultation with Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys.


The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can assess the facts surrounding the case, gather the necessary evidence, and go to war against the at-fault party to recover the compensation the victim deserves!

Comentarios


bottom of page