Indiana Injury Attorney Jack Kramer
Schererville, Lake County, Indiana
This video is about the burden of proof in civil or personal injury lawsuits.
My name is Jack Kramer, Indiana Personal Injury attorney practicing law here in Schererville, Indiana.
We have all probably seen on television, the Law and Order shows and the CSI shows where its generally a criminal case and we probably have all heard that beyond the reasonable doubt standard. If you’re in a criminal case, the beyond the reasonable doubt standard certainly applies. In a civil case, which covers everything but criminal cases, like car crash cases, contract cases, landlord-tenant cases, slip and falls, defective drug cases, medical malpractice cases, all of those are not governed by what is called the beyond the reasonable doubt.
Rather, those are governed by a preponderance of the evidence standard. Preponderance of the evidence simply means more likely right than wrong or more likely true than not true. I think one example that’s easy to understand and I’ve seen some judges in courtrooms use this example is the scales of justice. In a civil case where there is a preponderance of the evidence what one side has to do, and as the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) who bares the burden of doing this to prove their case, they have to just tip the scales in their favor ever so slightly, 51% if you want to figure it out in terms of numbers. Tip the scales ever so slightly in their favor to win the case.
The reason we have different standards of proof for civil cases versus criminal cases and in civil cases usually what’s at issue is money. In a criminal case, what’s at issues is a person’s freedom and in some serious cases their life. There is a much lower standard in a civil case, car crash cases, medical malpractice cases, and contract cases, anything but a criminal case. It’s the tipping of the scale 51% that allows a person to prevail in a civil case.
Jack A. Kramer
Westland Kramer & Bennett, P.C.
141 West Lincoln Highway
Schererville, Indiana 46375
Indiana Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorney