What Is the Burden of Proof for Auto Accidents in Missouri?

When an auto accident occurs due to another party’s negligence, any person suffering injuries in the collision may be eligible to file a car accident claim. Depending on the nature of the accident and the resulting injuries, the victim may be eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, recovering the full and fair compensation you deserve requires a plaintiff to provide enough evidence to meet the burden of proof. 

Burden of Proof Explained

In civil cases like auto accident lawsuits, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (the person bringing the claim) to prove their case by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the plaintiff must demonstrate that their version of events is more likely to be true than not, or in other words, that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries. This standard is less strict than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden of proof used in criminal cases.

Meeting the Burden of Proof in Missouri Car Accident Lawsuits

To meet the burden of proof in a Missouri car accident case, the plaintiff must present evidence establishing that the defendant behaved negligently. Examples of negligent behavior behind the wheel include failing to follow traffic laws, engaging in distracting activities such as texting, or driving too fast in inclement weather. The plaintiff must then demonstrate that the at-fault driver’s negligent behavior resulted in an accident that injured them.

Evidence that can help meet the burden of proof may include police reports, eyewitness testimony, medical records, and expert opinions. If the plaintiff provides sufficient evidence, the burden then shifts to the defendant to refute the plaintiff’s evidence and present their own case.

How an Attorney Can Help

Building a solid case to meet the burden of proof can be challenging, especially when dealing with the medical and emotional aftermath of a severe accident. An experienced car accident attorney can handle the legal heavy lifting on your behalf by:

  • Thoroughly investigating the accident to gather critical evidence
  • Identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses
  • Consulting with accident reconstruction specialists and other experts
  • Obtaining and analyzing police reports and medical records
  • Negotiating with insurance companies for a settlement package that will cover your losses
  • Presenting a persuasive case in court if a trial becomes necessary

Contact The Wilbers Law Firm LLC Today

The experienced Missouri car accident attorneys at The Wilbers Law Firm LLC understand how painful and traumatizing the experience of a traffic crash can be. While it is normal to feel overwhelmed, remember that you have a right to hold the at-fault party accountable. By working with us to take steps toward your financial recovery, you can regain control of your life. Let us take care of the legal side of things so that you can focus on healing. Call or contact us online today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.