If someone else causes you injury because they were negligent, careless, or reckless, you would assume that the person would automatically have to pay for your injury related costs. However, the attorneys and insurance companies for the other party will do anything they can to avoid compensating you for your injury. There are certain tactics and strategies in law that defendants may use to convince a judge or jury that they should not have to pay for the injury. The legal term for such strategies is “defenses.” Because other parties will use any defense possible to avoid liability, it is always extremely important that you have an experienced Fayette County personal injury lawyer helping you with your case to ensure you are properly compensated.
The following are common defenses in a PI case:
- The defendant was not negligent: First and foremost, the defendant will assert that either he or she had no duty of care toward the plaintiff or, if they did have a duty of care, that they did not breach that duty.
- The plaintiff was negligent too: This legal defense is called “comparative negligence.” In short, the defendant will try to prove that the plaintiff was also negligent and contributed to the accident and injury. If a judge or jury finds the plaintiff contributed, the award will be reduced by a proportional percentage. However, if the plaintiff is found to be over 50% responsible, they will be unable to recover anything.
- The plaintiff assumed the risk: When asserting an assumption of the risk defense, the defendant claims the plaintiff had knowledge of the danger, appreciated the risks associated with the danger, and voluntarily chose to continue. This is a common defense in sports injury cases.
Trying to disprove defenses in court can be complicated and you do not want to risk losing your opportunity to recover financially for your injury related losses. Therefore, you should always have a Fayette County PI attorney on your side to help you with your personal injury case. Do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999.