If you’re being sued by someone else after a car accident, you’ll probably want to hire an attorney to help you defend yourself from the charges. For those who have auto insurance, their insurance company evaluates and investigates every claim made by a potential plaintiff against you. But what do car accident defenses look like and how are they employed? In this article, we’ll discuss defending yourself against a car accident lawsuit.
Challenging the Evidence
In every instance that a plaintiff makes a claim, they will have to establish proof of that claim by introducing evidence into the record. So if they’re attempting to argue that you ran a red light while they were attempting to make a left-hand turn, they will need to prove this by either showing video footage of the accident or having witnesses testify on their behalf.
The fault or liability of the accident isn’t the only evidence that can be challenged. Evidence related to a plaintiff’s damages can also be challenged. When a plaintiff says that they have an injury that they deserve to be compensated for, they need to show medical evidence or submit some other proof that they have the problem they say they have. Typically, this requires doctors to submit written statements describing your treatment for injuries.
You can also question whether or not the injuries that the defendant is claiming were caused by the accident were, in fact, caused by the accident. A plaintiff can’t be compensated for a condition that pre-existed the accident.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Both Colorado and Texas are modified comparative negligence states. This means that your percentage of the blame cannot exceed the defendant’s percentage of the blame. Some states allow injured parties to pursue damages even if they are 99% at fault. Of course, their damages would be reduced by 99% of the total amount awarded during a trial.
Nonetheless, understanding how comparative negligence works can protect you from overpaying on a personal injury complaint. If you can prove that the plaintiff was even 10% responsible for the accident, then the sum you are expected to pay will be reduced by 10% as well.
Each state has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. That means you generally have two years, depending on where you live, from the date of the accident to file a complaint against a defendant. If the plaintiff fails to file this lawsuit within the statute of limitations, they lose their right to file the lawsuit forever. Of course, there are certain situations in which the statute of limitations can be “tolled” to the date when the individual realizes that they have a serious injury, but this usually doesn’t apply to car accident cases.
The Most Common Car Accident Defense Is…
Blaming the plaintiff for the accident. This is true in most personal injury actions. Defendants will either blame the plaintiff for their own injuries or blame a third party for the injuries. So, don’t get angry when the individual or their insurance company tries to say that you attempted a left-hand turn while the light was still green even though you know that the light was red when you pulled through.
It isn’t about what happened or didn’t happen. It’s about what you can prove to a jury. Even though most car accident claims don’t go before juries, predicting which way a jury will vote can determine whether or not you can spare the expense of a trial.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney Today
Regardless of whether you’re a plaintiff or a defendant in a car accident lawsuit, you will want a strategy to win your case. Call the personal injury attorneys at Brylak Law today to learn more about car accident defenses.