Injury claims customarily are the consequences of motor vehicular accidents and assaults. Accidents lead to injuries and more often than not, the victims file for damages. If you are the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit, then you are considered as the party at fault and have to compensate the victim for their injury until proven otherwise.
Your defence attorney in a personal injury claim prepares your case based on primarily 2 defence strategies – What the plaintiff did in the association of the accident and what the plaintiff didn’t do after the accident. As the burden of evidence lies on the plaintiff, your defence attorney can absolve the claim or minimise the damages, proving negligence on the part of the victim.
A defence attorney for a personal injury claim uses the following defences to absolve your case:
Assumption of Risk
Assumption of Risk is a defence in which the plaintiff is believed to be aware of the jeopardies involved in the given activity that led to the accident beforehand but assumed the risk anyway. In this case, the insurer or the court may absolve the case and deny any compensation to the plaintiff. The defence of the Assumption of Risk depends on 2 key conditions:
• The plaintiff was aware of the dangers leading to the accident ahead of time.
• The plaintiff fails to assume the risk on part of negligence of another party.
For example, if a person participates in a combative sport like boxing. He is aware of its rubrics and gets wounded while playing the same, it is an assumption of risk
When the plaintiff is found partially responsible for the accident, it is considered as contributory negligence. Although this defence doesn’t absolve the case, it removes complete liability on the part of the defendant. If the victim is found to be careless of his safety before or after the accident, he is considered contributorily negligent.
For example: Driving without wearing a seatbelt or a helmet, not seeking immediate medical attention after the accident makes the plaintiff contributorily negligent and affects the compensation accordingly. Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or abusive substances while knowing the consequences of the same may reduce the compensation by 45%.
Comparative negligence is usually used in out of court settlements. According to this defence, if the plaintiff is responsible for the accident to a certain degree, the amount of compensation is reduced by the same gradation. The contributory negligence of the plaintiff is invalidated by plummeting the same amount that is obligatory in the compensation.
For example: if the plaintiff is 25% responsible for the accident, the amount of recompense is reduced by the same percentage.
Most of the personal injury law cases are settled on the basis of these three defences. It’s crucial for a defendant to consult a good lawyer as soon he is served with a personal injury claim to absolve or settle the case with the best approach.