For a Free Case Review Today: Call 516-342-2200

Burden Of Proof And How It Relates To Construction Accidents

Burden Of Proof And How It Relates To Construction Accidents

Proof is one of the most important aspects of any legal case. If you’ve recently begun the process of a personal injury lawsuit for a construction accident, you’ve likely heard the term “burden of proof.”

Burden of proof is assigned differently depending on the type of case. Below, we’ll examine how the burden of proof relates to construction accidents and what it means for your case.

To get in touch with the seasoned attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, simply dial 516-342-2200 for experienced legal advice and so much more. We have over (150) years of combined experience successfully handling cases just like yours. Call now or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today!

What Does Burden of Proof Mean?

Also called the “onus of proof,” the term “burden of proof” refers to who needs to prove a claim or charge in court. In both criminal and civil cases, one party is making an allegation, accusation, or claim against another party. The burden of proof rests on the individual or institution making the accusation.

The person making the claim is responsible for proving that their claim has enough merit to award them financial compensation or to prosecute someone who has been accused of a crime.

There are three (3) commonly used standards of proof in the American legal system. Each of these standards is intended to be used in a specific way. Different types of cases can have different standards for the burden of proof.

In addition to the burden of proof, both parties have the burden of persuasion and the burden of production. The burden of persuasion refers to a party’s ability to persuade the trier of fact (i.e., the judge or jury) with a compelling legal argument. In this way, the burden of production is the responsibility to produce credible evidence to support a claim.

What Are The Standards Of Proof?

To begin, you should know that different types of cases use different legal standards when assigning the controlling burden of proof. To this end, evidence standards are matched to the objective of each case, with criminal cases requiring the highest standard of proof of any legal process.

Preponderance Of The Evidence Standard

Preponderance of evidence is a simple concept. In essence, it asks a judge or jury to determine what they think is the most likely scenario based on the evidence presented. Preponderance of evidence doesn’t require absolute certainty for the trier of fact to reach an enforceable decision, which is why this standard of evidence can’t be used in criminal courts.

The skilled New York construction accident lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers have over (150) years of combined experience successfully arguing cases to the preponderance of evidence standard. Call 516-342-2200 now to learn how our experience can help you receive all the money and benefits you’re entitled to.

Reasonable Doubt Standard

The reasonable doubt standard requires a judge or jury to be absolutely certain before they can reach a verdict. The Supreme Court has ruled that this is a constitutionally mandated burden of proof based on the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights.

Evidence for criminal prosecutions must prove a claim or charge beyond a reasonable doubt, which means that if a reasonable person tasked with reaching a verdict can see a possibility where a defendant is not guilty or liable based on the amount of evidence provided to them, the defendant cannot face legal responsibility.

There is no burden of proof as a defendant in a criminal case. Criminal defense only needs to shed doubt on the prosecution’s case.

Unlike a civil trial, where jurors are expected to maintain an open mind, jurors in a criminal trial are asked to maintain a presumption of innocence unless the prosecution successfully eliminates all doubts relating to a defendant’s guilt.

The reasonable doubt standard is used in criminal law because the consequences of a criminal conviction are comparatively severe to civil cases. As such, incontrovertible certainty of each element for the crime(s) charged is required to find the defendant(s) guilty in criminal trials because the punishment assigned following a conviction can severely limit or effectively eliminate the defendant’s freedom.

Clear and Convincing Standard

Clear and convincing evidence is the standard typically used when a civil case involves something intangible or without physical evidence. Cases like workplace discrimination or sexual harassment utilize a clear and convincing standard when there is an insufficient paper trail or a lack of reliable witnesses.

What Is The Difference Between Burden of Proof In A Criminal Case And A Civil Case?

Most people are familiar with the way burden of proof works in a criminal case because these types of cases are frequently featured in movies, TV shows, and documentaries. In a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of proof.

In a criminal case, it’s the job of the prosecution to convince the judge or jury that the defendant committed a crime. Given the stakes, the reasonable doubt standard demands a much higher standard of proof. As such, the trier of fact must be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed each element of the crime(s) charged.

Burden of proof works differently in a civil case because it generally requires a lower standard of proof, known as the “preponderance of evidence,” which means that the plaintiff must show that their claim is more likely true than not. Moreover, the plaintiff (or the person making the claim) bears the burden of proof. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff and their lawyers to prove both the merits of their claim(s) and that they are entitled to damages (e.g., financial compensation).

How Is Burden of Proof Demonstrated In A Construction Accident Case?

If you or a loved one has filed a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation after experiencing a construction accident, you should work with a skilled lawyer to build a clear and convincing case that highlights that the defending party should be held liable for your accident.

This is important because the burden of proof in construction accident cases typically resides with the plaintiff, who must demonstrate that the defendant’s negligence or violation of safety regulations caused the accident and resulting injuries. This is often done by presenting evidence such as witness testimonies, accident reports, medical records, and expert opinions. Using these tools, the plaintiff must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s actions or inactions caused the injury in question. If successful, they will have satisfied the “preponderance of evidence” standard.

To help your claim succeed, the right legal team will examine all relevant rules, regulations, and evidence from the scene of the accident to determine how and where the defendant was at fault for your construction accident.

Need legal help? Reach out to the highly qualified New York construction accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers by dialing 516-342-2200 or visiting us online today. But you shouldn’t wait, as your window to file a claim and recover all of the money and benefits you deserve may soon close forever.

What Types Of Evidence Are Used In A Construction Accident Case?

The goal of a successful construction accident case is to make a convincing argument that the individual or group responsible for the construction site is liable for your injuries. Every case is different, but the objective is always to provide enough credible evidence to suggest that the situation could have been avoided if the defending party had acted responsibly.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we’re prepared to gather and present the evidence you need to prove that you’re entitled to adequate compensation for your construction accident. As soon as you’re ready to begin the process, please give us a call at 516-342-2200. Remember, you have a limited time to collect the financial compensation you deserve. And so, to recover all the money and benefits you’re owed, you must act now before it’s too late.

Medical Records

Medical records are sufficient evidence to prove that you experienced an injury. Records can detail the extent of the injury, the exact nature of the injury, the pain and suffering caused by the injury, and how the injury may affect your quality of life.

Medical records hold significant importance in any personal injury law case. Depending on the nature of your case, your qualified lawyer may suggest that you seek multiple medical opinions or get specific imaging tests. Thorough documentation provides the highest level of evidence for your injury case.

Recordings of the Construction Site

Photos and/or videos of the construction site where the accident took place can be used to demonstrate safety violations and help to determine whether the operators of the construction site were negligent, willfully noncompliant with safety standards, or if they should have reasonably known that the working conditions weren’t safe.

Note: One of the most successful ways to provide enough evidence for a successful construction accident claim is to show definitive evidence that the defendant was (or should have been) aware of the dangerous conditions of the accident site. As well, you should know that even if you are deemed to be at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible to recover damages.


With any personal injury accident, witnesses to the event(s) are often among the most effective sources of supporting evidence. Their testimonies can provide helpful details about the circumstances of the accident to establish liability and other contested issues of fact.

Prove Your Case With Schwartzapfel Lawyers

Both in and out of court, our experienced construction accident attorneys are always fighting for you. And in this fight, Schwartzapfel Lawyers serves personal injury victims all over New York State.

To learn how our award-winning team will fight to get you all the financial compensation you’re entitled to, you can schedule your personal consultation for free today. Simply call the experienced New York construction accident lawyers of Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online.

No matter your situation, it will be our honor and privilege to fight — and win! — for you.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

burden of proof – preponderance of evidence | United States District Court

Presumption of Innocence; Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt | United States District Court

1.7 Burden of Proof—Clear and Convincing Evidence | United States Court for the Ninth Circuit

Civil Cases | United States Courts

Related Posts

We'll Fight For You

Conact us today at (516) 342-2200 of fill out the form below for a free case evaluation.

Schwartzapfel® Lawyers has a 99% Client Satisfaction Rate