If you suddenly find yourself facing a personal injury claim over a car accident, you’ll find that knowing the most common defenses to these claims would be extremely helpful when evaluating your circumstances:
- Insufficient Evidence: Basically, this defense could apply if the plaintiff can’t properly prove your negligence or fault, or doesn’t have sufficient proof to verify your liability.
- Comparative or Contributory Negligence: Some states don’t allow claimants to recover damages in the event that they’ve been found to have contributed to their accident and/or their injuries, whiles states significantly reduce the damages. For instance,according to a personal injury lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, the claimant’s “fault” should be 50% or less in order that he or she could recover any damages.
- The Assumption of Risk: This defense might apply if you could show that the claimant knew of a specific risk, yet still in spite of it.
- Statute of Limitations: This law limits the period in which a claimant could file a case. The time differs from one state to another, and unless there’s a significant and rare exemption, a lawsuit filed even a day late could become null and void with the statute of limitations defense.
- Emergency Circumstances: Some lawsuits could be dropped or result in a lowered sentence in case the car accident involved emergency circumstances.
Note that some defenses might likewise apply, involuntary intoxication for instance, but these could be more complicated to prove.
What You Could Do
Cases of car accidents more often than not lead to civil lawsuits so that the alleged victim could recover damages. In these cases, the responsible party would have to reimburse the alleged victim for certain losses such as costs to the damaged car or property, costs related to treating injuries, as well hefty fines to the court. Other cases also lead to criminal penalties, usually those involving allegations of drunk driving.
That being said, car accident claims typically involve complicated legal theories and rules and it would be in your best interest to get an attorney to help you create the best defense for your case.