Personal Injury 101: Preponderance of the Evidence

Today’s Personal Injury 101 is focusing on a standard used in most civil cases: preponderance of the evidence.

In short, it is the amount of evidence needed for a plaintiff to win a case.  You can visualize the standard by thinking of it this way: more than 50% of the evidence must agree with the plaintiff’s point of view, making it the burden of proof in a civil trial.

Even if the plaintiff’s evidence is only slightly in his or her favor, let’s say 51%, they will still win the case by a preponderance of the evidence.  This means the plaintiff was able to show that its version of the facts, causes, damages or fault was more likely than not the correct version.

This should not be confused with the standard of proof ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ which is a higher standard used in criminal courts.

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