If you have been involved in a car accident and your case is taken to court someone will have the burden of proof. What this means is that one party has to prove to the jury or the judge that their version of the facts is true. The burden of proof also exists when someone is looking for an insurance settlement, and when a lawsuit is taken to court. Anyone who has the burden of proof will have to show a certain amount of evidence to get their case across.
Who Has the Burden of Proof?
Let’s imagine that Thomas is driving down a street and reaches an intersection. Thomas sees that there is a green light so he carries on driving. When Thomas is halfway across the intersection his vehicle is struck by William’s car on the passenger side, due to William running a red light. Thomas wishes to claim compensation from William’s insurance company and is happy to file a lawsuit if he needs to.
In a situation such as this, it is Thomas who will have the burden of proof as he is bringing a claim against William. Thomas will, therefore, need to establish that William was at fault, and his actions caused Thomas’s injuries and damage to his vehicle. In this case, Thomas is very likely to show that William ran the red light, proving that he was at fault. Thomas may be successful in his claim as a violation of traffic rules can be very good evidence to use.
If There is more than One Driver
If there was more than one driver involved in the accident there is always a chance that more than one driver will bear the degree of fault. In a case such as this, if Driver 1 makes a claim against Drive 2 or 3, it is Driver 1 who will have the burden of proof.
Let’s imagine that Thomas, William, Richard, and Sarah were following each other on the highway. Thomas uses his brakes suddenly when he spots a deer trying to cross the road. William is unable to stop in time and hits the rear-end of Thomas’s car. Richard is also unable to stop and hits the back of Thomas’s car. Finally, Sarah is unable to stop in time and rear-ends Richard’s car. Each of the drivers thinks that the driver of the car they hit is liable for the accident. However, this is where the burden of proof can get quite complicated as we have already seen that the driver who makes the claim against someone else has to prove that they caused the accident.
In an incident such as this, the attorneys and insurance adjusters for each of the drivers may try to determine how much their driver was at fault. They will also try to work out how much settlement they will need to pay and how the settlement is affected by the driver’s allocation of fault.
Shared Fault Car Accidents
If we use the above example, we can determine that each of the drivers may share some of the fault. However, the burden of proof will fall on the shoulders of anyone who claims that a fault exists.
The court may ask where each of the drivers were at the time of the crash, and if they were indeed at fault.
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