What is the Burden of Proof in Civil Cases?

Most criminal and civil proceedings require the parties to adhere to evidentiary standards and the burden of proof. These crucial rules determine the party responsible for putting forth enough evidence that proves or defeats a particular claim. The burden of proof in civil cases is a principle that requires the plaintiff to put forth a certain level of evidence that enables them to prevail.

Proving your claims in a civil rights lawsuit can be challenging, but skilled civil rights advocates in Philadelphia can help you navigate the complex rules and requirements. They can help you meet the burden of production by putting forth evidence in the form of documents, witness statements, and other relevant objects.

Once you present your case-in-chief, the burden of production shifts to the defendant, allowing them to produce evidence that refutes your evidence or supports their arguments.

What Are Evidentiary Standards in Civil Cases?

Upon meeting the requirements for the burden of production, you must meet the burden of persuasion. It involves meeting the standard of proof in presenting evidence to the judge or jury. A standard of proof determines the amount and quality of evidence a plaintiff or defendant must provide for a jury to reach a specific result.

Civil rights and police misconduct attorneys in Philadelphia explain that in most civil cases, the standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. It requires the jury to deliver a verdict in favor of the plaintiff if the plaintiff can show that a particular event is more likely than not to have happened.

In some cases, the standard of proof calls for a higher standard that requires the plaintiff to provide clear and convincing evidence to prove that a particular fact is substantially more likely than not to be true.

The rule of standard of proof sets a higher threshold than the principle of the preponderance of evidence. However, it’s not as commonly recognized as the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, which typically applies in criminal cases. The higher the stakes involved, the higher the standard of proof.

What is the Preponderance of the Evidence Standard?

The preponderance of evidence is one of the principles of burden of proof that apply in civil cases involving monetary damages. The court requires that the standard is met when the matter alleged is more likely to be true than not. The standard also applies in cases where an employee seeks unemployment benefits after losing their position due to misconduct allegations.

Navigating through these elements of the burden of proof in civil rights cases can take a toll on you if you don’t understand how the principles work. Experienced civil rights and police misconduct attorneys in Philadelphia can work with you while providing the much-needed legal guidance to strengthen your case for the most favorable outcome.

How Does the Burden of Proof in Civil Cases Differ from Criminal Cases?

In criminal cases, the prosecution has the burden of proof, meaning the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused violated the law as alleged. In this case, the defendant doesn’t have to prove their innocence as they’re considered innocent until proven guilty.

In civil rights lawsuits, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. It’s up to them to convince the jury that their contentions are factual and they suffered damages due to the other party’s negligence. In civil cases involving negligence, such as personal injury lawsuits, Philadelphia civil rights advocates are often involved in helping plaintiffs prove four crucial factors:

  • The offender owed the plaintiff a duty of care
  • The defendant’s actions breached the duty of care
  • The defendant’s actions caused damages to the plaintiff
  • The actual damages suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence

Why is the Burden of Proof Standard Higher in Criminal Cases Than Civil Cases?

The burden of proof is held to a higher standard in criminal cases than in civil cases because of the stakes involved. In most civil cases, monetary compensation for damages is at stake, while the defendant’s freedom is at stake in criminal cases.

The penalties in criminal cases attempt to remove an individual from society, stripping them of their many freedoms, hence the significantly high standard in the burden of proof. The higher standard of the burden of proof in criminal cases protects defendants from unfair or wrongful convictions and ensures justice is delivered.

In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff is only required to convince the jury by proving that there is a greater likelihood than not that the defendant did something wrong without the need to provide evidence that supports the claim beyond reasonable doubt.

A Skilled Civil Rights and Police Misconduct Lawyer Helping You Understand Burden of Proof in Civil Rights Cases

The burden of proof is a crucial principle in civil rights cases. It ensures the correct outcome is achieved in legal proceedings to protect the parties’ rights.

Consult skilled Philadelphia civil rights and police misconduct attorneys if you have a civil lawsuit so they can help you meet the requirements of this principle.

They can help you collect evidence and engage expert witnesses to support your case, enhancing the chances of getting an outcome that favors you. The civil rights advocates at Abramson and Denenberg, PC., are knowledgeable and skilled in civil litigation. We can evaluate your case and provide legal counsel and representation while guiding you through the process for the best outcome. Call us at 215-398-7066 to schedule a FREE case evaluation.