Most New Orleans residents are familiar with the legal term “beyond a reasonable doubt” and know that when someone is accused of a crime, this is the level of proof required to prove them guilty. Our courts have set this very high standard of proof because being convicted of a crime can have severe repercussions.
While some personal injury lawsuits may involve serious injuries and large amounts of monetary compensation, the defendant is not in danger of losing his freedom or life if he is found liable for having caused the injury. As a result, the high standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” used in criminal cases does not apply in civil cases.
In most non-criminal (civil) cases involving personal injury, the legal standard of proof the injured person must establish before being compensated is termed “a preponderance of the evidence.” A preponderance of the evidence can be defined as enough evidence to establish that it is more probable than not that the defendant is responsible.
Under this standard, if you are suing another person for causing your injury, you must prove to the jury that it is more likely than not that you suffered an injury that was caused by the negligence of the defendant. Because of this lower standard, it is easier to establish legal responsibility in a personal injury lawsuit than it is to establish guilt in a criminal case.
If you have been suffered a personal injury and have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER. We would be happy to help you.