The Preponderance of Evidence Standard and What It Means for Your Personal Injury Case

Preponderance of Evidence

Aside from those of us who choose the law as our professional calling, most people will find the inside of a courtroom a disorienting, unfamiliar place, populated by the plotlines of police procedurals and award-winning dramas. When you are confronted with the prospect of not only visiting a court, but placing all your faith and hope for restitution in the court system, such as when you are already coping with physical pain and financial loss after an accident, trip, slip, or fall, it becomes even more daunting.

Competent and caring legal professionals, like our team, can make the legal process less frightening and challenging not only through our excellent advocacy on your behalf, but by explaining the legal process and its terms to you.

Most of us are familiar with the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” from true crime series and detective capers, without being aware of its technical meaning—or that it is not the only standard of evidence recognized in American courts. In Rhode Island, it is only one of five standards of evidence and applies to guilt or innocence in criminal trials. For personal injury cases, the preponderance of evidence standard is the burden of proof in establishing your right to compensation for an injury

“Beyond a reasonable doubt” means that no reasonable, rational thought exists that could otherwise explain circumstances. By the standard of the preponderance of evidence, a plaintiff in a personal injury case must prove that the defendant more likely than not owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, breached that duty, caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and that the plaintiff suffered damages.

If you were to come home and find the cookie jar empty and your children’s fingers sticky, you could say that they more likely than not ate the cookies. It is possible someone else did—maybe a visiting friend, or your spouse—so you would need further evidence to conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was the children who ate the cookies.

Compassionate Legal Advocates for Personal Injury Clients 

If you have been injured in an accident, slip, fall, or assault, you need more than top-of-the-line legal representation. You need a compassionate advocate who can familiarize the court system for you, listen to your needs, and support you during this difficult time. Discover the difference our partners make. Call today to discuss your unique situation.


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