If you’ve been the victim of an accident through another’s wrongful act, you may have the right to compensation. This wrongdoing is known as a “tort”, and when it fails to result in proper compensation through an injury settlement, you may be eligible to pursue action in civil court.
In a civil case, the burden of proof is on the injured party, but is not as exacting as in a criminal suit. The plaintiff doesn’t need to prove the defendant’s fault beyond a reasonable doubt, but does need to show prove clear and convincing evidence.
The standard of proof in a personal injury case is most open split into four components or “elements”. It must be proven that the defendant (person who caused the injury) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (injured party). It must also be proven that this duty was breached, and that this breach of duty was responsible for harming the plaintiff’s. Finally, there must be due cause to believe that the plaintiff suffered injuries that warrant compensation.
A plaintiff will want as much evidence as possible to support these elements. Police records, statements from witnesses, and photographs from the scene are often used to prove the cause of the injury; while medical records, journals from the plaintiff tracking the injury, and evidence of missed work can provide strong evidence of the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. All these can affect the amount of compensation the plaintiff may receive.