Learn about 3 possible arguments that can be used to deny liability for personal injuries.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you should be entitled to compensation. However, the at-fault party (and their insurance provider) is not likely to give up and provide this compensation without a fight. One tactic they may use to try to get out of paying you the compensation you deserve is arguing that you caused your own injuries. If this were true, of course they would not be liable.
There are three legal principles that can be used to defend against a personal injury claim on the grounds that the plaintiff actually caused, contributed to, or worsened their own injuries:
Contributory Negligence: Contributory negligence means that the plaintiff was entirely responsible for their own accident. This type of negligence comes up often in connection with slip and fall accident claims where a hazard exists on the property, but the injured party should have been able to avoid it had they been exercising the care any reasonable person would use. For example, if someone slips on a wet floor because they were looking at their phone and didn’t notice the “wet floor” warning signs, that is not the property owner’s fault. The accident victim would be considered to have caused their own accident.
Comparative Negligence: In California, more than one party can be found liable for an accident. This often happens in car accidents where multiple drivers were acting negligently. For example, maybe two cars collided in an intersection because one was speeding and the other ran a red light. In this case, both drivers would have a share of liability. They would not be able to seek full compensation, but instead would only be able to seek a reduced amount of damages based on the degree to which their own negligence contributed to the accident.
Failure to Mitigate Damages: Failing to seek medical treatment promptly after an accident and follow the doctor’s orders can make the initial injuries worse. When this happens, the defense can argue that they should not be liable for the worsening symptoms and the associated pain and suffering.
You Need an Experienced Attorney to Stand Up for Your Rights
If you are being accused of causing, contributing to, or worsening the injuries you suffered in any kind of accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker can help. We can handle all kinds of accident claims from car accidents to premise accidents to product liability claims and more. We’re here for you 24/7, so please do not hesitate to call 800-333-0000 if you need representation.