No. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard of proof required for the government to convict you of a crime. In an injury case, you need only prove it’s more likely than not the wrongdoer caused the accident and your injuries, harms, and losses. This is true no matter what type of case you have—a trucking accident, car wreck, slip or trip and fall, medical malpractice, or workers’ compensation.
Here’s a few more points so you can amaze your friends with your knowledge—and be informed about your case:
- Legal terms. The legal system calls the amount of evidence to prove your accident case the “burden of proof.” The lower amount required for you is called the “preponderance of the evidence.”
- The reason why less evidence is needed for accident claims. Our country was founded on freedom. In our view, that’s why the legal system requires more proof from the government to take freedom away from a criminal defendant than it does for an innocent injury victim to be compensated by a careless person, driver, or company.
- Exceptions. That’s what the law is famous for, right? There are a few times when injury cases ask for a different standard of proof. Punitive damages, which basically punish for reckless conduct, must be proven by clear and convincing evidence—more than preponderance but less than beyond a reasonable doubt. Proving your need for future medical care requires medical testimony it’s “reasonably certain,” which can include possibilities of less than 50%.
- It’s still no picnic. You’ve still got to prove your injuries to tight-fisted insurance companies (who hate paying even if you deserve it) or to skeptical jurors. And you’ve got to be very careful about medical proof. Improper medical testimony can lose your right to compensation.
The best way to protect yourself is hire a proven professional who earns a living gathering this evidence and presenting it convincingly, so you don’t worry about being shortchanged. There's some extremely good reasons to hire a personal injury attorney. If you’ve got questions about your case, start a live chat to see what we can do to answer them.