Burden of Proof in Personal Injury Cases

Many personal injury accident cases in Florida will settle before a lawsuit is ever filed. In some cases, the insurance company and the injured person cannot agree as to who is at fault for the accident or as to what damages award is appropriate. In those cases, the injured person may file a lawsuit in order to have a Judge or a jury decide who was at fault for the accident and if the injured person should be awarded any damages.

The simple fact that an accident occurred and someone was injured is not enough to be successful in a personal injury case. It is important to understand who has the burden of proof in a personal injury accident case. The burden of proof can be broken down into two subparts- the burden of producing evidence and the burden of persuasion.

The burden of producing evidence usually falls on the injured person, or plaintiff. They must produce enough evidence to establish each element of their cause of action, which is generally negligence in an accident case. If enough evidence is not produced to establish negligence on behalf of the other party, then the case may be dismissed before a Judge or jury ever decides if someone is at fault or not.

If an injured person can produce enough evidence to establish their claim, they also have the burden of persuasion. The burden of persuasion means that the injured person must also convince a Judge or jury that the evidence produced requires a verdict in their favor. Speak with a Tampa personal injury attorney if your claim is being denied by an insurance company so that a thorough review of your case facts can be analyzed in light of being able to satisfy the burden of proof in an accident lawsuit.