In a California personal injury lawsuit, the injured party, is the plaintiff.  The plaintiff has the responsibility to prove their claim. Technically, the defense does not have to prove anything, only prevent the plaintiff from meeting the burden of proof.  

Burdens of Proof in Legal Proceedings in California

California law requires the a party to prove their claim is more likely to be true than not true. This is referred to as “the burden of proof."  In essecense, this means the party must convince a jury that their position is more than 50% likely true. This standard is used in most personal injury cases. It also applies in other civil matters.

Here is an example of preponderance of the evidence: a slip and fall accident occurs—the plaintiff and multiple witnesses say that the lighting in the hallway of the apartment Man Holding a Burden of Proof Cardbuilding where they live was poorly lit and had been for some time. Several witnesses say they have complained to the landlord about the lighting and have asked for it to be improved “before someone falls and hurts themselves.” The landlord (defendant) tells another story, indicating that the lighting was appropriate and that the fall was the plaintiff's fault.

The jury may not be entirely certain that the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s witnesses are telling an accurate story. But if the jury finds the plaintiff's story is more likely true than the defenses story, the plaintiff has met the burden of proof. 

So How Does A Great Lawyer Meet the Burden of Proof?

This is where there is a difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer at trial.  A great personal injury plaintiff's attorney understands how to combine witnesses, documents, experts and demonstrative evidence to not only meet the burden of proof, but exceed the minimal burden of proof, while at the same time attacking and minimizing the impact of the defense witnesses and evidence.  A great personal injury attorney explores the evidence and funds supporting information and then molds it to the needs of the jury and their perceptions and experiences.  Often, events change, evidence is admitted or denied by the judge which means the lawyer needs to alter the way he or she approaches the presentation.  Being unflappable at trial and adaptable in all scenarios is the difference between good and great.   

Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer to Build a Strong Case and Win YOUR Case

If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, your San Bernardino County personal injury lawyer at the INLAND EMPIRE LAW GROUP is a powerful ally. Don't leave your case to merely someone who calls themselves a lawyer, trust the greatness of a lawyer who knows how to gather, develop and present the evidence.  Put the right lawyer in front of a jury to give you the greatest opportunity to be successful and secure the best outcome for your financial recovery.

A Great Personal Injury Attorney and Staff Can Help You Succeed

  • Your lawyer and staff will help to locate any possible witnesses that can bring your case to life. Their recollection of events and add relevant information to strengthen your case.
  • Your lawyer will gather the proper records needed to support the claim of damages.
  • Your lawyer will arrange for the right expert witnesses to establish issues of liability, causastion and damages.

Don’t try to go it alone if you have been injured in any type of accident in San Bernardino or Riverside Counties, or any other part of Southern California. There are simply too many pitfalls that can trip you up. The defendant’s insurance company relies on expert legal advice, and you should have this benefit to counteract their team of professionals. The insurance adjuster may be polite and courteous, but that doesn’t mean you should share information with them. Once you retain a personal injury lawyer, all communication should go through their office.

The insurance company will try to get you to settle your claim for the lowest possible amount. Your personal injury lawyer is working to protect your interests and obtain the best possible settlement or judgment for you. 

Schedule a Consultation Today

There are many details to consider when dealing with an injury claim due to someone else's actions. Having a great attorney who will focus on your interests is critical to your best outcome. Complete our online contact form or call us today at 909-481-0100 to make an appointment for a free initial consultation and learn more about your rights and possible recovery.


David Ricks
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Rancho Cucamonga Personal Injury Lawyer Serving the Inland Empire Community