When you file a claim against a negligent party, they won’t just give up without a fight. There are plenty of cases where the defense fights back against a plaintiff’s claims. One of the most common strategies the defense uses is the assumption of risk and negligence, which allows them to absolve themselves of any wrongdoing.
To understand how the assumption of risk and negligence works, you need to understand the laws surrounding personal injury claims. Remember, don’t assume that once you file a claim that you automatically get a fair settlement. You will have to fight for it against both the defense and the insurance company.
Understanding How Negligence Works in Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases generally follow the comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, an injured person can file a claim against the negligent party responsible for the accident that caused their injury. However, you must be less than 50% responsible for the accident. If you are 50% or more responsible, usually you can’t file a claim.
This means that the defense needs to prove that you were at least 50% or more responsible for the accident. That way, you can’t file a claim against them. They can do this in several ways, but the most common way is through the assumption of risk.
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Assumption of Risk
The assumption of risk means that you understand that there is some risk involved in whatever activity you partake in or are you happen to be in. So how does this affect your personal injury case?
When the defense argues the assumption of risk and negligence, what they’re saying is that you knew about the dangers beforehand. Therefore, there’s no need for the defense to have exercised any duty of care for you because you should know that there are hazards within reason that can lead to injury.
When successfully presented, an assumption of risk and negligence defense can cause your personal injury claim to take a massive blow during negotiations or at trial. You could end up losing your case because of it.
Examples of Assumption of Risk and Negligence Defenses
There are several examples of how the assumption of risk and negligence defense works. One of the most common is the theme park example. Say you ride a rollercoaster that goes upside down and makes sharp, high-speed turns.
In many cases, these rides are inherently dangerous. In addition, many theme parks will have warning signs about the dangers. So if you get hurt riding that roller coaster, the defense can most likely use this defense against you.
Another example would be if you were at a baseball game. It’s not beyond reason that a baseball could get hit into the stands and injure you. There have been numerous cases where the plaintiff couldn’t sue because the risk of getting hit by a baseball is a reasonably assumed risk as a part of attending a baseball game.
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How Can I Fight Back Against This Defense?
One weakness of this defense is that it doesn’t protect against intentional acts. For example, if someone was actively trying to harm you, there’s no way an assumption of risk and negligence defense could be used.
A great way to fight back against this defense is by showing that your injury wasn’t foreseeable. For example, if you get hit by a car while trying to do a risky outdoor activity, that doesn’t mean the car driver can get off free using this defense. The car accident had nothing to do with the event you were doing.
In short, you’ll need strong evidence and solid arguments to counter a defense like the assumption of risk and negligence. Hiring a personal injury attorney to help you through this process is the best decision you can make. A personal injury attorney can review all of your evidence and fight hard on your behalf against the defense.
Don’t Rule Out Other Risks to Your Claim
While the assumption of risk and negligence defense is common, it’s only applicable in specific personal injury cases. As a whole, there are lots of other risks to your claim that can impede your chances of winning a settlement that covers your damages. Other risks include:
- Settling too early
- Talking to the defense or the insurance company about your claim
- Not hiring a lawyer to assist you
Assumption of risk and negligence is definitely something you should worry about if the defense uses it as their strategy. However, you’re more likely to get pressured by the insurance company or tricked into a low ball settlement offer instead. This is why it’s essential to get a personal injury lawyer to help you.
Don’t Fight Back Against the Defense Alone
The defense and the insurance company will more than likely have lawyers and lots of resources at their disposal to counter your claim. If you choose to fight for your claim alone, you put yourself at a serious disadvantage. The chances of getting a claim that properly reflects your damages are extremely low.
That’s why getting in touch with one of our personal injury lawyers is the best thing to do. We will go over your case and help you fight against whatever the defense or insurance company throws at you. While you recover from your injuries, let us take care of your defense and pursue financial compensation.
Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
Never let the defense try to weasel their way out of paying you the compensation you rightfully deserve. The personal injury lawyers at Morris Bart, LLC are here to help you. With no upfront fees, we offer free consultations and case reviews. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to schedule an appointment. You can contact us 24/7 online or over the phone.
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