Burden of Proof For Indiana Injury & Malpractice Cases
Burden of proof is simply the amount of evidence needed to win the case. The "amount" does not necessarily mean "more" evidence. It may be the case that one item of evidence is so persuasive that it outweighs all other evidence. Burden of proof therefore is a concept of how much evidence must be presented to win.
There are basically three levels of burdens of proof in Indiana. The highest of the three is "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt." This is a very high standard and applies in criminal cases. Beyond a reasonable doubt does not apply in civil cases like Indiana car accidents cases or medical malpractice actions.
The middle level of proof is "Clear and Convincing" evidence. Clear and convincing evidence is evidence that makes something highly probable. Clear and convincing evidence is a higher burden than preponderance of the evidence, but lower than beyond a reasonable doubt.
The lowest burden of proof is "Preponderance of the Evidence." Sometimes this is referred to as the greater weight of the evidence. Using the scales of justice as a visual example, this standard only requires that the scales tip ever so slightly to win. It is this lowest standard that is used in civil lawsuits like car crashes, medical malpractice cases and other injury cases. To win a personal injury lawsuit in Indiana, the person bringing the lawsuit must tip the scales of evidence in their favor by at least 51%.