Our legal system provides any allegedly guilty party with the chance to present a defense. That opportunity extends to any defendant in a personal injury case. What sorts of defenses might be used by someone that has the right to fight an allegation of negligence, the sort that proved capable of causing an accident?
An accusation of shared fault: Claiming that the plaintiff was at least partly to blame for the accident that caused the plaintiff’s injury, or for the fact that the plaintiff’s injury had been so serious.
There are 2 different principles that apply to a situation where a defendant can prove shared fault. One principle is called comparative fault. It reduces the size of the plaintiff’s reward in proportion to the level of the plaintiff’s contribution to the accident’s creation. The alternate principle is called contributory negligence. It denies a single cent to anyone that has been found partly to blame for a given accident.
A claim that the plaintiff had assumed a known risk
That is the claim made if a plaintiff has been injured while engaged in some sporting activity, or while visiting a recreational facility.
This particular defense falls apart if the injury suffered by the plaintiff had no relation to the risks that were associated with the activity that had invited the development of an injury. That fact should be good news to any plaintiff that has been hurt by the unexpectedly rough surface of some item of gear, while using a particular recreational facility.
The plaintiff’s failure to mitigate the effects of a personal injury
All accident victims are encouraged to seek medical attention as soon as possible. That action makes it difficult for the defendant’s legal team to allege that the same victim aided a worsening of whatever injury had resulted from a given accident.
Sometimes, the defense team tries to suggest that mitigation measures should have been used prior to the accident. That argument might come from the lips of those that have learned about the plaintiff’s previous injury, or about the plaintiff’s pre-existent medical condition. The team representing the defendant might suggest that the plaintiff should have worn a certain type of gear, in order to remain safe from harm. That argument would not hold water, if the plaintiff’s attorney had managed to find an expert, someone that could refute the claims made by members of the defendant’s defense team.
That fact underscores the reason that anyone searching for a personal injury lawyer in Lethbridge ought to inquire, during the consultation, about his or her access to medical experts. Sometimes adjusters like to pretend to have special knowledge about a claimant’s medical condition. Their pretend expertise might be used to place blame on the plaintiff. Ideally, a lawyer with access to one or more medical experts would manage to highlight the absence of sufficient veracity in the other side’s claims.