May 14, 2024

What Is the Burden of Proof in a Civil Case?

If you have been victimized or violated by the police in California, knowing your rights and legal options is important. One crucial aspect of pursuing justice is understanding the burden of proof in a civil case. 

Claimants have burdens of proof in each case, even if they have been the victims of heinous conduct, such as police brutality or other civil rights violations. When you have suffered a wrong and need guidance through the civil justice process, including meeting the burden of proof, seek help from a California civil rights attorney dedicated to fighting for the people’s rights. 

The Burden of Proof 

In civil cases, the burden of proof refers to the responsibility of the party bringing the lawsuit to present enough evidence to convince the court that their claims are more likely true than not. In criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution; in civil cases, the burden falls on the plaintiff—the one seeking compensation for harm suffered.

Preponderance of the Evidence

The standard of proof in civil cases is known as “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the plaintiff must prove that it is more likely than not that their claims are true. In other words, they need to establish that there is a greater than 50% chance that their version of events is accurate. This is a lower standard of proof compared to the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard required in criminal cases.

Gathering Evidence in a Civil Case

Proving a claim requires evidence. For example, in cases involving police misconduct, evidence to meet a burden of proof can include:

  • Witness testimonies: Statements from individuals who witnessed the incident can provide crucial evidence to support your claims. Eyewitness accounts can help establish what occurred and how the police violated your rights.
  • Video footage: In today’s digital age, many incidents involving the police are captured on video. This can include surveillance footage, body camera footage, or even footage captured by bystanders on their smartphones. Video evidence can provide a clear visual record of the incident and can be highly persuasive in court.
  • Medical records: If you suffered physical injuries as a result of police misconduct, your medical records can serve as evidence of the harm you endured. These records can include hospital records, doctor’s notes, and photographs of your injuries.
  • Police reports: Obtaining a copy of the police report related to the incident can be valuable in establishing key facts and inconsistencies in the officer’s account of the events. 

How an Attorney Can Help You Meet the Burden of Proof

Navigating the legal system, especially in cases involving police misconduct, can be intimidating and overwhelming. An experienced California civil rights lawyer can increase your chances of meeting the burden of proof. Here is how a lawyer can help:

  • Attorneys can conduct thorough investigations
  • Your attorney will represent you in court
  • A skilled attorney can build a strong legal strategy
  • Attorneys can obtain witness testimony, video footage, medical records, and other relevant evidence

Seek Justice with California Civil Rights Lawyers from Pointer and Buelna, LLP

Now that you know what is the burden of proof in a civil case, remember to seeking justice If you have been a victim of civil rights violations in California. However, with the help of our California civil rights attorneys from Pointer and Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People, you can face the legal process and get justice.

To schedule a free legal consultation with us, please contact us today or give us a call at (510) 929-5400. We are available 24/7.


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