5 Defenses That May Be Used Against Your Personal Injury Claim
Getting injured can cause pain, inconvenience, and financial loss. If you have been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, it is only fair that you are compensated for your damages. However, things do not always work out as planned. There are instances where a defendant may use certain defenses to reduce or deny your compensation.
Our Gwinnett County personal injury lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers can assist you with filing your claim and building a strong case to counter any defenses used against you.
Possible Defenses in Personal Injury Cases
The most common defenses that may be used against you in your personal injury case include:
1. Assumption of the Risk
Assumption of the risk is a defense that a defendant may use to argue that the plaintiff agreed to undertake a known risk. For example, if you participated in a high-risk activity like skydiving and got injured, the defendant may argue that you knew the risks involved but still chose to engage in the activity. To counter this, you will need to prove that the defendant had a duty to ensure your safety and that they breached that duty, resulting in your injury.
2. Comparative Fault
Georgia follows the comparative fault rule, which means that if a plaintiff is partially at fault for their injuries, their damages may be reduced in proportion to their share of fault. To counter this defense, you will need to prove that the defendant’s negligence was the primary cause of your injuries.
3. Pre-Existing Conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition or injury that is exacerbated by the accident, the defendant may argue that your damages are not entirely a result of the accident. If the insurance company raises this defense, you will need to prove that the accident made your pre-existing condition worse and that you would not have suffered as much had the accident not occurred.
4. Waiver, Release, Consent
If you signed a waiver or release before engaging in a particular activity, the defendant may argue that you waived your right to compensation in case of an injury. You will need to prove that the waiver or release was not valid or that the defendant’s conduct was not covered under the waiver.
5. Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the time limit within which you must file a personal injury claim. In Georgia, if you file a claim after two years from the date of injury have expired (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33), the defendant may argue that your claim is time-barred and that they cannot be held liable for your injuries. To counter this, you will need to make sure that you file your claim within the stipulated time limit.
Get the Assistance of Our Lawyers
Personal injury claims can be complex and challenging, especially when you have to deal with defenses that the other party may throw at you. However, being aware of these defenses and knowing how to counter them can help you achieve a favorable outcome.
Our lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers can provide you with the assistance you need when navigating the claims process. We serve injured people all over Georgia, including in Gwinnett County, Atlanta, Cobb County, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Fulton County, Sandy Springs, and Dunwoody. Call 770-685-6400 to receive a free case evaluation.