When you are suffering because of the careless actions of another driver or a business, you can rest assured that our justice system offers a legal method to be monetarily compensated for those injuries. That same legal system, however, ensures that court cases have a even playing field by allowing the other side to defend itself against a law suit. Knowing what you could be up against at trial could prove to make you feel more sure of yourself when your day in court comes along, so read on to learn more about three often-used defensive moves by the other side.
1. Comparative Fault: When it comes to who was at fault for an accident there may be no clear bad guy. In many situations, both parties can be shown to have played at least a bit of a part in the final outcome of the incident. With the comparative fault defense, the other side will attempt to prove that your actions contributed in some way to how the accident happened and/or to the extent of your damages. A common fault accusation is that you failed to use due care. Everyone is expected to be careful when driving or while visiting a business, and if the other side can show that you yourself demonstrated careless behavior it could directly influence the amount of your compensation.
Take the following scenario: You enter a store and immediately slip down near the entrance way. It has been raining and everyone is tracking in water, but the store has tried to reduce the chances of an accident by placing warning signs and orange cones near the wet areas. In this instance, the store could not reasonably be expected to keep the floors totally dry, and you should have used more care since you were well aware of the wet floors. You may share some of the fault (or liability) for your slip and fall accident.
2. Statute of Limitations: If you procrastinate filing a personal injury suit until it's too late, you might miss out on getting compensated. Be sure you know what your state's statute of limitations rules are, and speak to a personal injury attorney before it's too late. Late-filed cases will be dismissed.
3. Waivers: It may seem that you can do very little anymore without signing a waiver of liability. These waivers vary in their legal power, and a great deal depends on what type of waiver you signed. Each case is taken individually, but don't be surprised if you signed away your ability to be compensated when you signed that waiver. The courts, however, tend to disregard waivers that are too broad and overreaching.
Talk to a personal injury law firm, like Gartner Law Firm, for more information about this and more.