Winning A Personal Injury Lawsuit Through Evidence
Movies make it look like lawyers win court cases through playing on the judge or jury’s sense of human compassion and decency, but emotion should not play a role in judge or jury’s determination of damages awards. In a personal injury lawsuit from a car accident or a slip-and-fall injury, you must prove a specific set of facts. If you have ever tried your hand at writing, you may have heard a piece of advice that goes, “show, don’t tell.” This is what you are trying to do with evidence. You, as a plaintiff, do not need the most eloquent lawyer who can tell the jury why you should win; you need a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer who will gather relevant evidence and use it effectively to show the jury that you are entitled to a damages award.
The Story That Your Evidence Must Tell
When you are a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, you are trying to effectively present your story so the jury awards you the damages you are requesting. These are its plot points:
- The defendant had a legal responsibility not to injure you and not to put you at high risk of injury; this is called a duty of care. For example, businesses have a duty of care toward their customers, and drivers have a duty of care toward other drivers and toward pedestrians.
- The defendant breached the duty of care by doing something dangerous, such as violating a traffic law, driving drunk, failing to repair an area of uneven flooring at a retail store, or failing to post a “wet floor” sign after mopping a restaurant dining room floor. A breach of the duty of care is also known as negligence.
- Because of the defendant’s negligence, you suffered a physical injury.
- The financial losses you suffered because of your injury are equal to the amount you are seeking in the lawsuit.
Of course, you do not have to tell this story. Your evidence, in the form of documents, witness testimony, and physical exhibits, tell it for you through your attorney.
What Is a Preponderance of the Evidence?
How convincingly does your evidence have to tell the story? Only by the “greater weight of the evidence” – enough to convince the judge that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that the plot points detailed above happened the way you say they did. Thus, it is much easier to win a personal injury lawsuit than to convict a defendant in criminal court, where the standard of evidence is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The Admissibility of Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
Clickbait science has no place in personal injury trials. If your case goes to trial and your medical expert witnesses cite published research, the judge must review the research before the jury hears about it. The judge will only allow the jury to hear the research if its methodology is clearly stated and meets accepted scientific standards. This is called the Daubert standard for scientific evidence.
Reach Out to Us Today
A personal injury lawyer can help you gather the strongest possible evidence to show, not tell, a jury you are legally entitled to the monetary damages you are requesting. Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.