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Evidence

Definition - What does Evidence mean?

Evidence for a civil or criminal trial includes testimony, which are statements made by witnesses or victims, and physical evidence, which include any real and tangible object such as fingerprints, biological material, or hair fibers which are left behind at the scene. Evidence is used to corroborate the statements or the case of the plaintiff or the state.

Evidence and civil lawsuits

Civil cases rely heavily on documentation, testimony, and physical evidence. Physical evidence is often the best type of evidence because it can be less subjective than testimony and does not rely on the perception or memory of witnesses. To be useful, however, physical evidence should be document, collected, and preserved according to the proper legal processes.

Proving a civil claim

To win a civil claim the plaintiff must offer enough evidence to meet the standard of proof. Civil claims are won either through a preponderance of evidence or with clear and convincing evidence (a higher standard). Criminal cases are won by proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to quantify how much evidence is needed to meet the legal standard of preponderance of evidence. Historically, a preponderance of evidence has been interpreted to mean that the court believes the plaintiff's assertions are more likely than not to be true.

Plaintiffs who do not offer enough evidence to meet the standard of a "preponderance of evidence" will not win their civil injury claim and will not be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Before filing an injury claim it is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can review your personal injury case, ensure you have a legal reason to sue, and determine if the defendant has a legal defense against your personal injury claim.

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