What is “Clear and Convincing Evidence” in California?

Sometimes facts must be proved by “clear and convincing evidence” in a California personal injury case. Clear and convincing evidence is a higher burden of proof than a “preponderance of the evidence” in California (but not as high as “beyond a reasonable doubt”).

To prove a fact by clear and convincing evidence a party must convince the judge or jury it is highly probable that the fact is true. It is evidence "so clear as to leave no substantial doubt"... in every reasonable mind."1

When is “clear and convincing” proof required?

The clear and convincing standard is used where important individual interests or rights are at stake.2

In California personal injury cases, clear and convincing proof is most often required when the plaintiff seeks punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages such as medical bills, car repair bills, lost wages and lost earning capacity.

To be awarded punitive damages, the plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with malice, oppression or fraud.

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If you or someone you know has suffered an accident or injury in California we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Our California personal injury lawyers work with a skilled team of investigators, experts and legal support staff to uncover the evidence you need to meet your legal burden of proof.

Whether you are seeking punitive damages for products liability or an attack by a dangerous dog, or simply seeking compensation for a car accident, we've got you covered.

Call us at (855) 396-0370 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable lawyer today.

And rest assured that if we all agree to move forward we will not take a dime until you settle or win your case.


Legal references:

  1. In re Angelia P. (1981) 28 Cal.3d 908, California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) 201.
  2. Weiner v. Fleischman (1991) 54 Cal.3d 476 (quoting Herman & MacLean v. Huddleston (1983) 459 U.S. 375).

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