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

HomeBlogInsurance ClaimsWhat is the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case?

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

May 18, 2021
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

The burden of proof in a civil case is different than what is required in a criminal case. The threshold for criminal cases is much higher, given that penalties can include loss of freedom and a permanent criminal record. The burden of proof is lower in a civil case, but still important. If you cannot meet the burden of proof, you will not be able to recover any compensation for your injuries. That is one reason why you should consider hiring an Ohio personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.

To learn more about pursuing a personal injury claim in Ohio, contact the experienced team at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC.

The Burden of Proof in a Civil Case

With Ohio personal injury cases, the plaintiff is required to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence. All this technically means is that you can show you are more right rather than wrong. Basically, you need to tip the scales in your favor to receive an award in a civil trial. If you are deemed to be a percentage at fault in your case, you could still collect a portion of your damages. If you are more than 50% at fault, you will be barred from recovery. For example, if you were determined to be 30% at fault, you would receive 70% of your damages. If you are 70% at fault, you will receive nothing.

 The Burden of Proof in a Criminal Trial

You may be thinking that it should be beyond a reasonable doubt. However, that is reserved for criminal trials. In a criminal case, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime in question. The jury should not be doubting any aspect of the evidence and whether the defendant is guilty. If there is reasonable doubt, the jury should vote to acquit.

In some personal injury matters, there is both a criminal and civil case pending. One example is with a DUI. The state of Ohio might bring criminal charges against the driver who was under the influence and caused your injuries. That is a separate legal matter from any civil case you bring. Do not think that the criminal trial replaces your ability to file a civil lawsuit for your injuries and damages. The criminal court may require the defendant to pay you some restitution, but it is likely a small sum, not enough to cover your injuries and other damages.

Contact an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have questions on how personal injury lawsuits work and whether you have a valid case, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer. Contact Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC today to learn more about how we can help.  

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