If you are ever involved in a personal injury accident like a car accident and the other party was at fault, you will probably file a personal injury case or lawsuit and hire a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will tell you that the defendant will use many defenses to get out of paying you a settlement. You should read this article. You will learn about all of the defenses the defendant can use in this instance.
Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that it is important that you understand the concept of comparative and contributory negligence and ‘assumption of risk’ If you understand these concepts, you are more likely to win the settlement that you want and need because these concepts form part of the foundation of personal injury law.
Share some of the fault
Personal injury law will define you to be the plaintiff. If you were even 1% at fault for the accident, you should know that your overall settlement will be reduced by the percentage by which either the courts or the insurance adjuster finds you at fault. This is referred to as the comparative negligence concept. You may not be able to obtain a settlement if you are found guilty of contributory negligence. These concepts are discussed further in more detail below because it is vital that you have a better understanding of both.
Most states in USA use this rule in personal injury cases. If you live in such a state and are 20% at fault for a personal injury accident, your personal injury lawyer in Inglewood will tell you that the state will use a formula to reduce your final settlement amount by the percentage of fault that you shared. In this case, it would be 20%. Therefore, you would only get $800,000 of an original million-dollar settlement in this case.
More about Comparative Negligence
Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that this will not sound like ‘music to your ears,’ but if you live in a state that uses the comparative negligence rule and you are even partially at fault, you could receive no settlement. It just depends on the type of comparative negligence rule that your state uses. If it uses a pure comparative negligence rule, then you could still recover partial damages. With modified comparative negligence, you will receive a settlement only if your share of the fault was below 50%. You will receive nothing if your share is 50% or above.
Assumption of risk
Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that you need to know about the assumption of risk because the defense can argue that his or her client (the defendant) is not legally responsible for paying you a settlement because you were aware of the dangers or a particular activity and ‘assumed the risks’ by partaking in it. The one qualifying rule to this is that the event that injured you was similar to the assumed risks that are common in that particular type of activity. For example, if you play soccer, it’s common to suffer from sprained and/or broken shins.
You can outsmart the defense if you hire a good personal injury lawyer who teaches you about the concepts mentioned in this article in detail, it is possible for you to outsmart the defense.