Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim

The inside of a courtroom

Evidence in any legal proceeding is required to prove a Personal Injury Claim. Each case, whether criminal or civil, requires a certain standard of proof to be applied in the proceedings. These standards of proof provide the extent to which a party must prove alleged facts to receive a judgment in its favor. 

Types of Standards of Proof 

The three common standards of proof seen in any court case include beyond a reasonable doubt, a preponderance of the evidence, and clear and convincing evidence. A crime in a criminal case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, or the highest standard of proof so that any rational person would accept what is offered as fact. The other standards of proof are seen in civil cases, including personal injury claims. 

A preponderance of the evidence is the standard of proof that must be met in personal injury and other civil cases. It is the lowest standard of proof, and it generally requires the plaintiff to offer evidence that shows his claims have a chance greater than 50% of being true. Specifically, California jury instructions state that a party required to prove something needs to only prove that. It is more likely to be true than not true. 

Clear and convincing evidence is a standard of proof that is higher than a preponderance of the evidence but lower than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard that must be met in criminal cases. This standard of proof requires that the plaintiff prove some fact that is substantially more likely to be true than not or “highly probable” to be true. This standard is typically used in a personal injury claim to prove punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Because the courts only want to punish those tortfeasors who acted with malice, fraud, or oppression. The standard of proof applied to punitive damages is higher. 

Types of Evidence to Preserve and Offer in a Personal Injury Claim 

The type of evidence you offer in your claim is important to persuade the court. That the facts stated in a claim are true and that you are entitled to compensation. The most important types of evidence include: 

  • Physical evidence such as photographs and video of the accident scene, property damage, and your injuries
  • Accident reports that have been written by law enforcement 
  • Medical records and receipts showing your expenses and diagnosis, whether physical or mental 
  • Employment records showing lost wages as a result of your inability to work because of accident-related injuries 
  • Witness statements by those individuals present at the scene of the accident

What Should I Do if I am the Victim of an Accident?

If you are the victim of an accident, you may have a viable personal injury claim. Immediately after your accident. You should do your best to take photos and gather witness contact information. As well as call the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Jahrmarkt & Associates. Our attorneys will help you to collect and preserve the evidence necessary to prove your claim by a preponderance of the evidence. You can schedule your free consultation today by calling (310) 226-7676 or visiting our website.