5 Defenses Against Personal Injury Claims

Posted on: 9 April 2019

The prospect of being held liable for injuries another person suffered can be daunting. There are, however, several ways a defendant might be able to refute a claim. A personal injury defense attorney can present one of these 5 arguments on behalf of a client.

Legal Standing

Not everyone has a right to sue. To have standing to pursue a claim, a party either has to be directly injured or closely related to the victim, such as a dependent child, parent, or a spouse.

Force Majeure

The American legal system generally does not hold people or organizations liable for the results of unpredictable accidents, natural events or other so-called acts of God. Force majeure, literally a "greater force," is a common legal defense that covers a variety of happenings. For example, it's harder to argue that a business owner is responsible for injuries someone suffered on their property during a hurricane.

Plaintiff's Fault

When addressing the merits of an injury claim, how much each party contributed to what happened matters a lot. In most U.S. states, the defendant has to be found at least 50% responsible for what occurred. If the plaintiff can be shown to be largely at fault for their injuries, then the defendant may not have to pay any damages, regardless of their own contribution to the incident.

The Duty of Care

Civil injury law is grounded in a concept called "the duty of care." This is the notion that we all have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent others from being hurt by actions we perform or fail to take.

That sounds very open-ended, but it's not, at least not within American law. A passerby near crime scenes and accidents, for example, don't have a duty to intervene. In fact, they may be exposed to civil liability for injuries they cause while trying to help.

No Provable Injuries

Another aspect of injury law is damages. It's not enough that someone was responsible for an accident. They also need to have caused demonstrable injuries. Medical damages can be pretty hard to refute, but an expert witness may be able to cast doubt. A common example is when there's evidence that an injury cited in a medical report was actually due to a pre-existing condition. Similarly, cases that are solely based on claims of psychological trauma may be refuted by showing that a plaintiff actually has been feeling well since the incident.

Contact a law firm, like Urban & Taylor S.C., for more help.


Always Know Your Renter's Rights

After my mother suffered a fall on the icy steps of her apartment building, I learned a lot about renter's rights, and I want to share my story and tips to help others. My mother was extremely afraid to pursue action against the apartment owners who were at fault for her fall due to fear she would be kicked out of her apartment. I found out that there are state laws that protect apartment renters from retaliation for asserting their rights as renters. However, it is very important to have any attorney on your side when you pursue a personal injury lawsuit against an apartment owner; the owner is less likely to even try to illegally evict you if they know you have an attorney already on your side. I hope you can learn a lot from my story and the other tips I share on this blog!