Car accident injuries can be both physically and financially devastating. If the accident was the fault of another driver, you can pursue a claim against them. However, accident injury victims have the responsibility of the burden of proof. Meaning if you bring a claim against another driver, it is your burden to prove your claim. Unfortunately, Florida’s personal injury law is very complicated. Thus, it can be hard to understand what it means to carry the burden of proof. Fortunately, a skilled Florida auto accident attorney can help.
Table of Contents
Does The “Burden Of Proof” Mean Legally?
The legal definition of the burden of proof applies to both civil and criminal cases. In civil cases like an auto accident, it means that the person bringing the claim has to also show evidence. In criminal cases, the burden of proof is very high and includes the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, in civil cases, this is not as stringent and instead includes the phrase “beyond a preponderance of evidence.” That simply means in criminal cases you have to be 99% certain. In criminal cases, you only have to be 51% certain. The burden of proof is less for civil cases, which does not always make them easier to prove, unfortunately.
In order to understand how the burden of proof applies to car accident cases, you must first understand liability. Liability is the legal concept that a person is legally responsible for something. In the case of a car accident, you want to prove the other driver is liable for your injuries and other damages. To prove liability, you have to prove four key things:
● Duty Of Care: A duty of care is the concept that people who engage in certain acts have a responsibility to act with care. For example, drivers have a duty of care to others on the road. This can be exercised by driving a safe vehicle and following traffic laws.
● Breach Of Duty: A breach of duty is when a person simply failed at performing their duty of care. This concept doesn’t have the firmest legal requirements, but courts usually just look at what a normal person would do in that role. However, there are obvious breaches like if a driver is speeding they are not exercising the duty of care to follow traffic laws.
● Causation: Causation is the concept that a breach of duty caused something else to happen. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits another vehicle. That driver caused the accident by breaching their duty.
● Damages: Damages are both the economic and non-economic harm caused by the breach of duty. If a driver runs a red light and causes an accident that leads to a spinal injury. The medical bills, missed work, and pain from the spinal injury are the damages.
The burden of proof falls on the accident victim to provide evidence for all of the steps to prove liability.
What Kind Of Evidence Proves Liability
There are several different types of evidence that can be used to prove liability, these can include:
● Police and accident reports
● Photographic or video recordings
● Driver, eyewitness, and expert witness testimony
● Accident reconstruction
● Medical records
● Proof of lost wages
It is not always easy to collect the evidence needed, but that is the burden of proof.
How A Florida Auto Accident Attorney Can Help
For many auto accidents victims, the responsibility of the burden of proof is just too much on top of everything else. You’re already overwhelmed trying to keep your family afloat financially but also focus on healing. Thus, it can be tempting to just take whatever settlement offer the insurance company sends. However, if you work with a personal injury attorney, you will get the help you need. They will help you take on the burden of proof and handle everything.
The team at Justice Pays, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, & Walsh understand the burden of the burden of proof. If you work with us, we’ll handle everything from documentation to negotiations to all conversations with the insurance companies. With our help, you can focus on healing and we’ll focus on the burden of proof.
Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer
I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.
I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!
I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.