So, you were involved in a car accident. It wasn’t your fault. You’re contemplating whether you should make a claim or even perhaps make a lawsuit, but you are concerned about what you have to show in order to prevail in a lawsuit. Well, in California we use the preponderance of the evidence standard. It’s the slightest standard, meaning more likely than not something is true than not true. For example, more likely than not, is it true that the other driver was, in fact, careless or negligent? Or, was it more likely than not true the other driver was not, in fact, careless or negligent? And, the scales are very light, and they just require the slightest tilt from one side to the other.
It’s a much lower standard that you are aware of in watching movies on TV involving criminal cases. Those involve a higher level of standard called, “beyond a reasonable doubt”. In this cases, it’s simply the preponderance standard: Is it more likely than not true that something did or did not occur? Is it more likely than not true that the driver was negligent? Is it more likely than not true that the harms caused from the accident were related to the other driver’s carelessness? These are the types of questions you will face when you are contemplating whether to bring a claim, or even a lawsuit.