It does not matter if you file an injury claim or you are the one that defends against it. In both cases, you need to be aware of the very common defenses that are used. This is true for both personal injury lawsuits and regular car insurance claims. When you do not know anything about the process, it is important to look for a car accident law firm near me. This will help you. Besides this, you should also understand the following things.
The Car Accident Lawsuit Statute Of Limitations
This is practically a law that is setting time limits on when you are allowed to file civil lawsuits. This period does vary a lot from one jurisdiction to the next. Basically, there is no clear standard for the deadline. However, in most cases, you have around 2 to 3 years available to file your lawsuit following the accident.
The defense that uses the statute of limitations is completely legit. It practically means that the lawsuit was not filed in time so it will be thrown out. Some exceptions do exist, of course, but generally, if you miss filing the claim even by one day, it will be thrown out.
Fault Defenses In Car Accident Lawsuits
Out of all the defenses used, this is by far the most common one. It practically means that the defendant claims they were not at fault for what happened.
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When a person or entity is accused of the car accident, they want to limit liability. This is often done by showing the fact that there was also some fault in the actions of the claimant. There are basically two types of rules that apply in regards to accident fault:
- Comparative Negligence
This factual defense is all about personal injury liability. Whenever comparative negligence is in place, every single party that was involved in the car accident will be assigned an exact fault percentage, which is based on case facts.
When pure comparative negligence applies, you can file a claim against practically anyone at fault, regardless if you had fault or not for the accident. However, this only applies in the event that your fault was under 50%. The percentage assigned to you will be taken out of your final compensation.
- Contributory Negligence
This type of factual defense is crippling in the injury case. If you are unlucky to live in a US state following the rule, the party that was considered to be at fault, regardless of percentage, cannot obtain compensation.
- Not Mitigating Damages
In many US jurisdictions, the injured party is actually required by law to mitigate their damages. This sounds complicated but it practically means that when you are injured during the car accident, you need to do all you can to not make the injury worse. When you end up doing this, how much you get back will be reduced.
In many cases, plaintiffs exaggerate. They do not follow orders from their doctors and they engage in some activities that would worsen injuries. Be careful with this defense and always follow the orders of your doctor.