Most people in New Orleans have heard that when someone is accused of a crime their guilt must be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Being convicted of a crime has serious repercussions, so, our government has set this high standard of proof for a person to be found guilty.
Because personal injury cases are limited to monetary damages and do not involve a possible loss of freedom, this same high standard does not apply.
In most non-criminal (civil) cases involving personal injury, the standard of proof is not “beyond a reasonable doubt”, but instead what is termed “a preponderance of the evidence.” A preponderance of the evidence may be defined as enough evidence to establish that it is more probable than not that the defendant is responsible.
To put it simply, 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 and that the injury was the result of the negligence of the defendant. Because of this lower standard, it is easier to establish legal responsibility in a personal injury case than it is to establish guilt in a criminal case.
If you have been injured in Louisiana and have questions, please feel free to contact us at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411. We would be happy to help you.