We’ve seen that the plaintiff has the obligation of carrying the day in a car accident or negligence case. In other words, they have to prove their case. The plaintiff must prove the accident was caused by someone else's negligence, that they were injured, and the amount of their damage or loss.
The burden of proof is sometimes discussed as being a both an obligation to produce sufficient supportive evidence, and to persuade a jury or a judge that the plaintiff should recover. In a civil case resulting from a Maryland car accident, the legal requirement is that the Plaintiff must prove their case by the preponderance of the evidence.
The standard is that it’s “more likely than not” the accident happened the way the plaintiff says it did.
The standard is not as burdensome as that faced by the state in a criminal prosecution – beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, the standard, sometimes overlooked by those deciding Maryland accident cases, is not really that stringent at all. More likely than not, it has been argued, really on means that the plaintiff’s version is 51% likely, and the defendant’s 49%. If the fact finder, jury or judge is persuaded by that slightest of margins, the Plaintiff wins.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 7/1/20.