If you or someone you know has suffered injuries in an accident, you may wonder what is needed to recover a fair monetary compensation award for harm suffered. In order to win a personal injury case, it is critical to keep the burden of proof in mind. Burden of proof is a legal concept, referring to how much evidence a party to a lawsuit must show in order to win his or her case.
Burden of Proof Explained
In most personal injury cases, the burden of proof is commonly referred to as a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the plaintiff, the injured party who filed the lawsuit, must convince the jury that he or she has met the elements of the case by a preponderance of the evidence. The burden of proof in a preponderance of the evidence is more likely than not, or at least 51%. In order to succeed in a Nevada personal injury case, the plaintiff must convince the jury that it is more likely than not that his or her version of what happened is accurate and monetary compensation is recoverable under state law.
The Parties’ Perspectives
When someone files a lawsuit seeking a claim for recovery of monetary compensation, the individual is referred to as the plaintiff. The burden of proof applies to the plaintiff, as he or she must show through evidence, testimony, and arguments that their version of events is accurate. Moreover, a plaintiff must show that the defendant is more likely than not responsible for what happened and financially liable.
When a lawsuit is filed against an individual or company, the party is referred to as the defendant. Unlike the plaintiff, the defendant does not have to show another version of the events that happened is accurate. Instead, the defendant only needs to convince the jury that some other version of events happened or that what happened is really unknown. In this way, the defendant can reduce or eliminate liability.
The preponderance of the evidence burden of proof applies in personal injury lawsuits and most civil cases filed in Nevada courts. This burden is a lower standard than what applies in criminal cases.
What Plaintiffs Must Show
In order to win a Nevada personal injury case, a plaintiff must establish each part of the case, referred to as legal elements. These include:
- Defendant had a legal duty owed to plaintiff to act carefully;
- Defendant acted negligently, intentionally, or recklessly in a manner that breached their legal duty owed;
- Defendant’s actions, or failure to act, caused the plaintiff’s injuries;
- The injuries resulted in damages and losses.
Successfully establishing each element of a Nevada personal injury is done by gathering the necessary evidence to prove the case. This can include witness testimony of the accident, the plaintiff’s testimony, surveillance footage, photographs of the incident and injuries, expert witnesses to explain technical information regarding the case, and other relevant information.
Courtroom Proven Attorneys
It is critical to work with an experienced personal injury attorney for your Nevada case, even if the burden of proof in these cases are lower than those of criminal cases. The skilled lawyers at H&P Law will methodically prepare your case for trial and evaluate the facts to get the best evidence possible to maximize your recovery. Contact us today to speak to one of our attorneys at our Las Vegas or Henderson offices about your case.