A personal injury case is a type of liability lawsuit. Liability cases include instances of injury and death due to the negligence of another party. This negligence could occur in the workplace, on the street, or at a shopping mall. Anyone who believes they have experienced wrongdoing due to negligence should seriously consider taking legal action.
Examples of personal injury cases include everything from being hurt on the job to being struck by a car while riding a bicycle. Personal injury cases can even result from someone falling in a retail store due to a raised flooring tile.
In some cases, the defendant will settle outside of court. However, if the defendant believes that they are not solely at fault, it will be pursued in a courtroom. When there’s a lot at stake, you need to have a top personal injury lawyer on your side to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Common Defenses in Liability Cases
Liability cases can be expensive for the defendant, and the defense team will do everything they can to minimize or eliminate any payment rightfully owed to you. Some of the most common defense claims used in liability cases include contributory negligence, pre-existing conditions, the statute of limitations, or assumption of risk.
More often than not, the defendant’s team is going to claim contributory negligence. In simplest terms, the defense is declaring that blame should be placed partly or all on the plaintiff. With a strong personal injury attorney, you can work to negate these claims.
Example: A customer slips on a wet floor and breaks an arm while there was a wet floor sign present. The plaintiff was partly negligent, so the defendant was not entirely at fault.
A common defense in liability claims is that the plaintiff has a pre-existing condition or injury. The insurance company and defense lawyers will often seek out medical records to learn the history of a plaintiff. The defense may claim that the plaintiff is using old injuries to receive compensation.
Example: A great example would be a back injury that happened years ago due to a car accident. The person then fell at work and injured his/her back. There will likely be medical records detailing the previous injury, although a new injury or re-injuring is entirely possible. The defense will attempt to claim pre-existing injury.
It’s vital to choose the right personal injury lawyer to build a case refuting this claim, so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a specific timeframe for initiating a lawsuit. For personal injury in the state of Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years. This means that a person has two years from the accident to file a claim of personal injury.
Example: A person was rear-ended in a car accident and went to the hospital to get checked out. It was determined he/she had no injuries at that time. However, after 18 months, they began to experience significant neck and back pain, resulting in a need for medical treatment.
Since it is within two years, this person can take the offending party to court. However, the statute of limitations may be used as a defense. The defendant may claim that the plaintiff is trying to take advantage of the situation and time left to file.
Assumption of Risk
If a person is aware of the dangers associated with a job or activity and assumes those risks, the defendant may attempt to use the assumption of risk as the main defense. The defendant will claim that the plaintiff was fully aware of the potential injury and that no compensation should be recovered.
Example: When a person goes skiing, they may be asked to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks involved. The person ends up injuring their leg when running off-trail after a faulty jump.
Although this person assumed responsibility, the mountain was negligent by having a faulty jump. However, the defense may challenge this claim, stating that the plaintiff fully understood that this was a risk of skiing on the mountain.
How to Win Against Common Liability Defenses
As a firm with extensive experience recovering millions in personal injury lawsuits, Rafi Law Firm is equipped to handle your personal injury case and the defenses used against you. We have helped recover more than $45 million for our clients.
We work hard for our clients, building cases with substantial evidence and facts to maximize outcomes, whether you are focused on settling or going to trial.
Working directly with a law firm that focuses on personal injury typically means our clients recover more compensation than others. Some of our most notable cases include a $6 million settlement for a shooting victim, a $2 million work injury settlement, and a $1.6 million settlement for an injury our client sustained while walking his dog.
Start with a Free Consultation
If you want to win your case and receive the justice that you or your family member deserves, don’t wait to contact Rafi Law Firm. Call us today at 404-800-1156 or fill out this form to get your free consultation.