What is Preponderance of Evidence in Charlotte Crashes?

gross negligence

Preponderance of evidence is a feature in some Charlotte crash cases. If you have suffered a car accident in Charlotte, North Carolina, you will need to prove the negligence of the at-fault driver before you can recover damages. A Charlotte car accident lawyer can help you recover these damages.

A key part of your claim is to provide relevant evidence that shows that the other driver was at fault. Evidence that is useful in car crash claims includes a police report about the crash, witness statements, photo and video evidence pertaining to the crash, any available CCTV footage close to the crash site, data from the vehicles involved in the crash, and so on. Typically, the more evidence you have, the stronger your claim is.

Such evidence is needed during negotiations with an insurance company. More importantly, you need this evidence to back you up if your claim is not honored by the insurer and you have to take it to a court of law.

What is Preponderance of Evidence?

Preponderance of evidence is a legal term that shows that the defendant named in a case is likely to be responsible. An alternate term used for the concept is ‘more probable than not.’ The threshold for meeting this probability is 50%. In other words, if you can show that the plaintiff is above 50% guilty in a car accident case, the jury may use this to hold the plaintiff guilty.

This standard of proof is typically sought in civil cases, such as personal injury lawsuits. Criminal cases require a more robust standard of proof.

Evidence in Criminal vs. Civil Cases

The evidence requirements for criminal and civil cases are different. In many car accidents, both types of cases continue side-by-side. For instance, if you are injured in a crash caused by a DUI driver, you may seek compensatory damages through a civil case. At the same time, the prosecution will also hold the driver responsible for the criminal offense.

For criminal cases, the court requires you to show “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty. This is a stricter standard of care and it applies to criminal cases because if found guilty, the defendant is likely to face stiff penalties. “Beyond any reasonable doubt” is the highest standard of proof in the U.S. judicial system. Although it does not mean you must be able to prove 100% of the defendant’s guilt. However, you are still required to show that there is no reasonable doubt against the certainty of the guilt of the defendant.

In civil cases, a more relaxed standard of proof is required. In fact, such cases involve the lowest standard of proof. This is known as “preponderance of evidence” as noted above. A third standard is also used which is termed ‘clear and convincing evidence.’ This standard is more strict than “preponderance of evidence.” However, it does not apply to civil cases pertaining to car accidents.

When you file a car crash case to recover damages from an at-fault party, you are typically required to meet the requirements enshrined in the ‘preponderance of evidence’ standard of proof.

What Does “More Likely Than Not” Mean?  

This term is most commonly used in civil cases like personal injury claims. It is a standard of proof that is easier to achieve. It simply means that the defendant is more likely to be guilty. As a plaintiff in a personal injury case such as a car crash lawsuit, you are simply needed to demonstrate that what you are claiming is more likely to be true than not.

The judge and the jury will then consider the proof to see if the defendant is likely to be guilty. The court does not require a defendant to provide counter-evidence to show that they are not guilty. However, it is up to a jury to determine whether or not to accept this counter-evidence.

Hiring a Reliable Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer

If you have suffered injuries and other losses in a Charlotte car accident, it is important to hire a reliable lawyer. As noted above, the standard of proof in car crash claims is relatively relaxed. However, you still need to establish through relevant evidence that the defendant is more likely to be guilty than not. This requires gathering the evidence and using it to support your claim.

Here at Ted Greve, we help you bring together all the evidence related to your accident as well as your losses, such as medical records. With this evidence, we work to help you recover maximum compensation for your losses. Call us today to discuss your car crash claim in detail with our lawyers.

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