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Wrongful deaths: What is a standard of proof?

When a loved one is killed in an accident, you may want to take legal action against the party responsible. When you do this, you may be the one who has to prove that the other party was negligent and can be held liable for the injuries and death of your loved one. A standard of proof must be met for your case to move forward, and with the right proof, you may be able to win.

The standard of proof in your case is the level of certainty and degree of evidence needed to prove a criminal or civil act. When you hear that the proof must beyond a reasonable doubt, this is what is being referred to. The burden of proof usually falls on the plaintiff, which is the victim in your case.

The victim must be able to show, either with medical documents, records, or expert testimony, that the events that took place were out of the ordinary and negligent. The evidence needs to be clear, convincing, and legal to use in court. The most difficult standard of proof to meet is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This is used in criminal cases most often and must be met for a criminal conviction to take place.

In a wrongful death case, there are a few things you can do to establish your evidence and provide proof to the court. You may wish to release some of your medical files, for example, if you have evidence of tampering or mistakes on the files. If you have injuries, you may want to come to court to show the judge how they affect you. With any kind of evidence, you need to make sure it's introduced correctly to make sure it's not thrown out.

Source: FindLaw, "Standard of Proof," accessed April. 06, 2015

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