What is the burden of proof in an auto accident case in Yuma?

Yuma, AZ – When an injured person files a car accident lawsuit, they need to prove that the defendant named in the complaint was actually at fault for their injuries. This is done through various forms of evidence along with legal arguments. The civil court system uses a burden of proof called the preponderance of evidence to make these kinds of determinations. Anyone who needs a more specific explanation of how these issues may apply to their specific case can contact a local attorney to schedule a meeting. 

What is a preponderance of evidence?

A general definition for the preponderance of evidence is that the jury needs to believe the plaintiff’s arguments are more likely than not to be true. Sometimes this is also given a number value of fifty one percent likely that the plaintiff is right. This is not as high of a standard as other legal matters, such as a criminal case when a defendant must be proven to be guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. When a cause of action has multiple elements, such as in a negligence case, each one of the elements needs to meet this burden of proof. If even one element is not demonstrated by a preponderance of evidence, the jury is instructed to find in favor of the defendant. 

How most cases are resolved

Most cases will not need to actually go to trial where the jury is asked to review the evidence and deliberate. It is common for motor vehicle accident lawsuits to be resolved through settlement negotiations. The defendant and their accident lawyers will generally have a sense if the plaintiff could be successful at trial, and settlement amounts tend to coincide with things like the strength of the evidence against the driver who is at fault and the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. This means that the plaintiff’s lawyer has to convince the defendant’s attorney or team that their client would win at trial, there would be a sufficient amount awarded for things like costs of medical treatment, lost income and wages, as well as damages for pain and suffering. The average settlement amount for an accident lawsuit where there are injuries is in the tens of thousands of dollars. However, it is possible that a much larger award may be available if the victim was seriously injured and requires extensive medical care or long periods of time away from work. 

Accident attorneys in Yuma

Schneider and Onofry is a law firm that works to help injured clients in the Yuma area receive compensation. Their attorneys can assist with the process of filing a civil accident case and negotiating a settlement agreement.  

Firm contact info:

Schneider & Onofry, P.C.

207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364



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