preponderance of the evidence

Primary tabs

Preponderance of the evidence is one type of evidentiary standard used in a burden of proof analysis. Under the preponderance standard, the burden of proof is met when the party with the burden convinces the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true. This is the burden of proof in a civil trial.

In Karch v. Karch, 885 A.2d 535, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania noted that “preponderance of the evidence is defined as the greater weight of the evidence, i.e., to tip a scale slightly is the criteria or requirement for preponderance of the evidence”. Similarly, in another case from Pennsylvania, the court held that “preponderance of the evidence is such evidence as leads a fact-finder to find a contested fact to be more probable than its nonexistence.”

For more on the preponderance of the evidence, see this University of Florida Law Review article and this Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article

[Last updated in March of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team