Skip to Content

The Burden of Proof


In a legal matter, one of the things that will need to be addressed is the burden of proof that exists. What is the burden of proof? This is the legal obligation that is placed on one of the parties in the case and they will need to present sufficient evidence and reasoning that supports their side. Enough evidence should be given that there is little to no reasonable doubt to conclude that their claims are invalid. The burden of proof may be placed on different individuals depending on the type of case. In civil cases, it will generally be the plaintiff that is responsible for providing the burden of proof. The other side of a case will be given the benefit of assumption and they are innocent until it has been proven otherwise. While they may not need to present the evidence for the same purpose as the party with the burden of proof, a defense should be made to dispute the allegations.

In a personal injury case, the plaintiff that is stating they were injured will be the one with the burden of proof. It will be necessary to show that the liable party acted negligently and this directly resulted in the accident and the injuries. In a criminal defense case, the prosecution will be in charge of showing that the suspected individual did in fact commit the crime. The burden of proof tends to be higher in criminal defense cases and the prosecution must show evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. This does not necessarily mean an absolute certainty and many people are convicted when some doubts still exist. What it does mean is that the proof is thoroughly convincing that the person would be viewed as guilty with little to no hesitation.

Family law cases can also carry a burden of proof, such as showing that one of that parties committed adultery. Since this is grounds for divorce, it may need to be proven in order to have the marriage dissolved. In workers' compensation cases a worker will generally find it easier to receive compensation that in a standard personal injury case. It will still be necessary to show that an injury or illness exists and if insufficient compensation is given, a legal case may be required to show that further damages are owed. These cases may involve showing that negligence existed through some means, such as inadequate safety precautions. In some civil cases, preponderance of the evidence may be enough and this is showing that the greater portion of evidence points to a certain side. Learn more about the burden of proof and how it relates to your case by contacting us at the Masella Law Firm, P.A.

Share To: