If you have been injured in a car accident, you might be eligible to sue for damages and receive compensation for your losses. Litigation is rarely a simple process. And, in many cases, the defendant will be able to present solid defense points that will either acquit them of liability or, at the very least, limit their possible liability.
As a result, it’s critical that you deal with an experienced car accident lawyer who has a history of success, especially in cases where the defendant was equipped to contest the plaintiff’s claims.
Defences Used by Insurers in Car Accident Lawsuits
Defendants frequently employ certain defenses to reduce their liability in motor vehicle accident proceedings. A car accident law firm such as Greenstein & Milbauer will almost definitely have dealt with these defenses previously and will be well-equipped to overcome these obstacles. The following are some of the defenses that can be used against you by the defendant’s insurers.
1. Plaintiff Was Comparatively Negligent
The notion of pure comparative negligence exists. This means that even if the plaintiff is considered at fault for their own injuries, they may still be able to recover damages. As a result, while a negligent defendant cannot always avoid liability by claiming that the plaintiff contributed to the injuries, the defendant can reduce their possible damages.
For instance, if the court determines that you are 50 percent responsible for your injuries, your award will be halved.
2. Plaintiff Had a Pre-existing Injury or Condition
To obtain damages, you must have suffered losses due to the defendant’s negligent, irresponsible, or intentional behaviour. Additionally, you must have actually suffered new and distinct injuries to be eligible for damages. It is quite common for defendants to argue that plaintiffs have pre-existing injuries or a pre-existing condition and that the accident did not actually result in any new injuries. The defendant may avoid liability if their symptoms remained the same before and after the accident.
Keep in mind that your pre-existing injury or condition may still be compensated even if the accident aggravates it. For example, if the accident made your back pain worse and restricted your movement to a great extent, you could file a claim for those losses.
3. Defendant’s Negligence Did Not Cause Injuries
The mere fact that the defendant got into an accident with you, and that their actions caused the accident, does not guarantee their legal liability. To succeed in a lawsuit, the negligent acts must have caused your injuries.
4. Other Liable Defendants
If an accident was caused by more than one party, the main defendant could argue that there were more people involved and refuse to take full liability. Some states hold defendants jointly liable, not severely liable, which means that a defendant can only be held guilty for the proportion of their entire fault contribution in the matter at hand.
5. Plaintiff Failed to Mitigate Damages
Plaintiffs must act appropriately in the aftermath of their injuries in order to minimize their losses to the greatest extent possible. Assume you’re pursuing a wage loss claim as part of your overall damages in a car accident lawsuit, and that you didn’t work for the entire two years following the accident.
However, the record shows that you were given multiple jobs and that you were in good enough condition to work in those positions had you chosen to do them rather than staying unemployed.
The defendant can argue that you didn’t do enough to minimize your losses and that they can’t be held accountable for the losses you controlled.
Tips for winning a lawsuit during a car crash
1. Look for medical assistance
To win a lawsuit during a car crash, always remember to look at medical diagnosis first. You won’t be eligible to file a lawsuit for medical charges incurred during the accident. You will require proper documentation of the medical treatment.
Also, getting a proper diagnosis after an accident is always important. It ensures that you are safe from any internal injuries. If the accident was caused by the defendant’s negligence then you can plead for the casualties to your car and also for personal injuries. Don’t lose any documents, keep all the records safely to claim for damages from your insurer.
2. Make a police complaint
If you ever get into a car crash accident don’t forget to make a police complaint at your nearest police station. A police report of the car crash accident will give you the advantage while filing a lawsuit and it is easier for you to plead for compensation for the damages caused to you.
Also, a police report will provide you access to the CCTV camera footage of the roadways where you can prove that the accident was caused by the defendant’s fault. You can also get an unbiased judgment of the accident scene that will provide valid evidence to support your case in the courtroom.
3. Keep all records safely
If you want definite reimbursement for all your claims then do ensure that all the records are kept and maintained safely throughout the entire lawsuit process. The more evidence you will collect the easier it will become for the attorney to make your lawsuit stronger.
Keep all the documentation and records including hospital bills, expenses on repairs, medical prescriptions issued by doctors, etc. Keep a track of daily expenses incurred due to accidents of the car especially when you are sure you can win against the defendant.
4. Avoid any conversation except your attorney
In case of an accident especially when you are not responsible, try to have a minimal conversation with anyone except your attorney. Once you have done a medical diagnosis, go and visit an attorney. Let them represent you in the court and handle the entire process of getting compensation.
Anything you speak can be used against you in the courtroom so let an attorney speak for you. Ensure that the attorney has some experience in dealing with lawsuits that involve car crash accidents and has a higher success rate.
Also, ignore sharing anything on social media or speaking about it to anyone in detail. Trust your lawyer who will lead the way through the entire lawsuit and help you get the maximum compensation.
5. Don’t get emotional
There have been cases where people get carried away with emotions and start thinking with their hearts, especially after listening to the defendant’s side of the story. You might feel like letting them go but don’t fall for this trap.
You are the one who suffered the entire accident that caused unnecessary expenses on repairing your car, hospital bills, doctor’s appointment, consultation etc. Keep a record of all this and make decisions with your head while making settlements.
Get Yourself a Lawyer
As you’ve seen in this article, several defenses might be used to challenge your claims as a plaintiff. The defendant might argue that they are not liable for damages because there is no direct link between their behavior and the injuries at hand, that you were also negligent, or that there are parties who must share the blame.