Car accidents can be devastating and often lead to personal injury cases. When pursuing a car accident case, it’s important to understand the types of defenses that will be used against you. This will better equip you to protect yourself and stand up for your rights.
Here is some insight into possible defenses employed by defendants in car accident personal injury cases.
Understand the Statute of Limitations in Your State
Understanding the Statute of Limitations in your state is an important element of good legal practice. Generally, the statute limits the amount of time you have to file a claim in civil court after an injury. This time can vary drastically from state to state, so it is important to review the laws regularly to ensure you are not missing any opportunities.
In California, the statute of limitations for a car accident case is two years.
The defense may argue that you were, in fact, responsible for the accident. They can claim that you were driving recklessly, failed to yield for a stop light or sign, or made an unsafe lane change. They may even bypass the facts altogether, blaming the accident on a third party.
Make sure to work closely with your attorney, gathering the appropriate evidence to prove you were not liable for the accident.
Blaming the Accident on Outside Circumstances
Another possible defense is claiming the accident was outside of anyone's control, such as inclement weather or dangerous road conditions. This defense asserts that no matter how safe the driver was acting, it would have been impossible to avoid the wreck.
Evidence for this defense generally includes:
- testimony from other drivers
- testimony from an expert witness
- photos of the scene after the accident
- evidence of weather patterns, road work, or other potential hinderances
If these claims are false, they may be easy to disprove. If they are true, however, you need to work with your attorney to make sure your insurance company fairly compensates you for your injuries.
Comparative Negligence in a Car Accident Case
The defendant can use comparative negligence to reduce the amount you receive in compensation. Comparative negligence means that if someone is found partially responsible for their injuries, their monetary recovery can be reduced proportionately.
For example, if an injured party is found 25% at fault for the accident, any compensation awarded could be roughly 25% less than it would have been otherwise. The defense will work hard to put as much responsibility on you as they can, so you and your attorney must work equally hard to prove the other party’s fault
How Discovery Can Help Prove Your Case
A key aspect of any personal injury case is gathering evidence to support your argument. Discovery is an indispensable tool that can help lay the foundation for an effective car accident claim. This is the time when your attorney gathers documents, witness statements, physical evidence, and anything else that can help your claim.
Discovery allows victims to obtain important information about the opposing party through interrogations and document requests. It can also provide incriminating evidence to undermine any defense strategies employed by the insurance company or those at fault.
Samra Dhillon & Associates will work hard to help you get the compensation you need from a car wreck. For a free consultation, reach out to our firm online or call us at (916) 571-1550.