Florida trial lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD explains the burden of proof in a personal injury action.
An injured person who makes a claim for an injury is called the claimant or plaintiff. The law requires the plaintiff to prove each element of a personal injury action by a “greater weight of the evidence.” So, in order to be successful in a personal injury claim, the injured person has to show that the other party:
- Owed them a duty of care – there is a relationship between the parties
- Breached the duty of care – negligence
- Causation & Damages – that the actual negligence either caused or substantially contributed to the injuries claimed
Your Florida jury will be instructed on the burden of proof as follows:
[The parties] [(claimant)] must prove [his] [her] [their] claims by the greater weight of the evidence. I will now define some of the terms you will use in deciding this case.
“Greater weight of the evidence” means the more persuasive and convincing force and effect of the entire evidence in the case.
Lawyers and courts will describe the burden of proof as “preponderance of evidence” or “more likely than not.” The standard requires the plaintiff to show that a fact is more likely right than wrong. Juries struggle with the burden of proof and sometimes require injured folks to prove that the accident definetly caused their injuries, which is one of the risks of going to trial.
If you have any questions about the burden of proof in Florida, you can always call me directly on my cell phone at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.