Defenses in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury is a branch of law that deals with cases involving the physical and/or mental harm caused to an individual as a result of another person or entity’s negligence. When a person is injured in this way, they may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. However, there are also various defenses available to those accused of causing personal injury that can be used to limit their liability. 

Here are some defenses to personal injury claims.

Comparative Negligence

This is one of the most commonly used defenses in personal injury cases. It is based on the idea that both parties were partially at fault for the injury, and therefore neither should be completely liable for it. 

For example, if a driver runs a red light and collides with another car, the driver can argue that the other car was traveling too fast or not paying attention to the road. If both drivers are found to be partially responsible for the collision, then the damages awarded to the injured party will be reduced accordingly.

Assumption of Risk

This defense is based on the idea that an individual voluntarily accepted or assumed a risk when they were engaging in an activity and were subsequently injured as a result. 

For example, if a person undertakes a dangerous sport such as football, they may be held responsible for any injuries sustained. The defendant can argue that the plaintiff assumed all risks associated with the activity and therefore cannot sue for damages.

Statute of Limitations 

This defense is based on the idea that any legal action must be brought within a certain time period, otherwise, the defendant cannot be held liable. 

Each state has its own statute of limitations which will determine how long a plaintiff can take to file a lawsuit. If a claim is brought outside of this window, then the defendant may argue that the case should be dismissed since it is no longer legally valid.

Pre- Existing Conditions

This defense is used when the defendant argues that any injury was caused by an existing medical condition rather than negligence on their part. 

For example, if a person has pre-existing back problems and is injured in a car accident, the defendant may argue that they are not at fault for any back injury since it was already present. Or, if a senior resident of an assisted living facility slips and falls in a restaurant, the defendant can argue that any injury was caused by their existing frailty rather than negligence.

Personal injury cases often involve complex legal strategies and defenses which must be carefully evaluated before a decision is made. By understanding defenses such as contributory negligence, assumption of risk, statute of limitations, and pre-existing conditions both plaintiffs and defendants can be better prepared for their cases. Consequently, you should hire an experienced legal representative who can provide valuable advice on how best to proceed in a personal injury case.