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How Important Is Burden Of Proof In Car Accidents?

April 12, 2021 4 Min read

No matter how well you drive or how safe you think you’re driving, the time may come where you might be in an accident. Although accidents are of no fault to anyone in most cases, some accidents are because of negligent drivers. Thus, you can file legal charges for just compensation caused by such an event. 

However, your case may not prosper or win, especially when the burden of proof is on you. This can happen if you can’t or don’t know how to show burden of proof. That’s why you must learn what burden of proof means and what you should do to show it.  

What is Burden of Proof? 

Generally, according to Raphaelson Levine, proof is given to the accuser. As you’re accusing someone of causing the accident, the burden is on you. This means that it’ll be your job or your legal team’s responsibility to prove that the other party caused the accident you experienced. 

Furthermore, if you can show definitive proof, there’ll be no counter case against you, which is why it’s essential to gather as much evidence as soon as you experienced a car accident.  

The Significance Of Burden Of Proof 

When proving the burden of proof in your case, you have to check that all four elements of the burden of proof exist. This is the only way to sufficiently show that you’ve proven your case enough to win it. To understand these elements and their importance, check below: 

1. The Duty of Care 

The first element is Duty of Care. All drivers on the road have this responsibility or duty to drive with care. This is because the road is a shared space used by different vehicles and drivers. 

With that in mind, all drivers must follow laws with respect and care to ensure a safe driving experience for all drivers. Accidents happen when a specific party doesn’t take their responsibility and duty seriously. Thus, to find negligence, you must first establish his duty to provide care in driving exists. 

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As you cannot expect all drivers to behave or drive perfectly all throughout, there must be a metric that considers human error and other factors. Thus, it would be best if you looked for an objective standard. Generally, you can find the objective standard in some cities or country’s laws. 

Additionally, these standards detail what is the minimum care drivers must put into their driving. Furthermore, the minimum standard will encompass all drivers no matter the level of their skill or experience.  

2. Breach of Duty 

As soon as you’ve established the other party’s responsibility to drive with care, you must follow it up with proof of his breach of care. If the other party didn’t show a sufficient level of care while driving, you could bring it to court as proof of negligence.  

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You can show proof through police reports and other legal documents. As most police and medical reports will show the driver’s status during and after the accident, you can use these reports. 

Moreover, if the reports include a specific level of intoxication or lack of sleep, this is proof of breach of duty. Furthermore, you can also check traffic cameras or dashcam footage to see if the driver was using the phone or eating while driving.  

3. Proving Causation 

When it comes to causation, it’s finding the root cause or the main factors that caused the accident. In your case, it’s the driver and his driving. However, you must prove causation to root out the initial cause of the accident when it comes to multi-car accidents. In some multi-car accidents, the third and succeeding cars involved were only dragged into the accident due to the first crash. Thus, finding the initial cause will point out the real source of the accident.

If you can find the cause of the accident, this will prevent unnecessary lawsuits from the other car owners as they were also victims. 

To do this, it would be best to record the accident by gathering all camera footages available and comparing these to the police report. Additionally, gather all the accounts of those involved in the accident to support the police report. 

4. Damage

After proving the causation of the accidents caused by breaching their duty to provide excellent care on the road, you must lay out the damage you sustained. Thus, this will provide the court a full view of the accident and how much it caused you and everyone else involved. 

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However, it’s not as simple as showing your scars and dings on your vehicle. You must present valid documents and information to the court. 

As the court will not simply take your word for it on the cost, you must keep all documents, receipts, and professional quotations to fully assess the damage. That’s why you must take note and keep as much information and documents from day one of your accident. 

Include documents such as the quotation for the total repair or replacement of your vehicle and the total medical bill you had to pay. Moreover, you can include psychological and emotional damages if your armored car isn’t physically damaged yet you were traumatized by the occurrence. By simply checking with a psychologist or physician, emotional and psychological distress can be established by the lack of sleep or trauma caused by the accident. 

Doing so will help you prove the negligence of the other party. Moreover, you can use this to win your case or claim the right compensation.

Conclusion

Your case will be thrown out without proof as all cases must show proof or cause before it progresses in the court system. Thus, this emphasizes your need to understand the intricacies of burden of proof. 

You don’t want to let the person responsible for your accident be free from liabilities. You’ll need help from car accident lawyers. That way, they can help you prepare all the documents and gather all pertinent records to support your claim or case. If you’re seriously injured, an accident lawyer will prepare your case from gathering evidence to filing with the court. Most importantly, lawyers know that burden of proof is essential to win your case. It’s even better if you can understand how important it is for you. 

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