Whether you are filing a claim for negligence or defending yourself against one, it is imperative that you know what defenses there are to a negligence claim. There are many traditional defenses to this sort of lawsuit. The defenses that may apply to your individual case will hinge mainly on the facts of your case and what matters are under conflict.
The possible defenses against a claim of negligence can include but are not limited to:
There was no negligent action – Even if everybody involved in the claim is in agreement about what occurred, the defense may challenge his charges on the grounds that his behavior was not negligent. What counts as negligent behavior is based on what the actions of a rational person would be under those same circumstances. For instance, both sides might differ in opinion on whether or not it is reasonable to go five miles per hour over the legal posted speed limit in sunny conditions. It is left up to the jury to determine which actions, if any, count as negligent. The individuals on either side of the claim could have a notable difference of opinion regarding what is reasonable behavior in any one particular situation. Both sides, along with their attorneys, will be required to give evidence and then present their arguments concerning why certain behaviors were or were not negligent.
A mistake of fact: Another defense to a negligence claim could be that the events in question did not take place the way the plaintiff is claiming. Both sides might object to the details of the case as presented by the opposing side. Eyewitnesses will most likely have a different viewpoint. An eyewitness might also be unreliable or even biased. Additionally, both sides could come to varying judgments about the significance of the proof that has already been established. A mistake of fact is just one possible defense to negligence. It is left to the jury to figure out which side they believe.
Lack of proximate cause: For a litigant to be considered accountable for negligence, the proposed negligence is required to be the direct cause of harm. If there is no proximate cause connecting the victim’s injuries and the defendant’s negligence, then you have no legal claim. A potential defense to a claim of negligence could be that the defendant’s behavior was not the cause of injury to the victim.
Contributory negligence by the plaintiff: A negligence claim equates the defendant’s behavior to the plaintiff’s behavior. Every state has laws that force the plaintiff to be brought to account if they are also responsible for causing the injury in any way. Comparative negligence, or contributory negligence, is the concept that more than one person can be held responsible for an accident. Various state laws taken into account, contributory negligence is able to decrease the defendant’s culpability or effectively stop the injured party from any economic profit on behalf of the defendant for their damages.
The actions were justified: Justification is also a common defense to claims of negligence. Supposing the defendant engaged in an appropriate plan of action that actually prevented a more critical injury from taking place, they would then be able to defend their actions legally on the grounds of justification. For this to be an effective defense, the jury would have to agree that the actions taken by the defendant were intended to prevent more aggravated circumstances from occurring.
Assumption of the risk / Waiver: Certain ventures are intrinsically dangerous. A business might expect its patrons to sign a waiver before they can join in specific activities. Provided the waiver was legally binding, the assumption of the risk is a viable defense to a claim of negligence. Additionally, certain activities bear an evident chance of danger. Assumption of this risk along with a signed waiver could be a valid defense.
Entrapment or coercion: If someone is made to behave in a particular way, coercion or entrapment could potentially be a defense against negligence. Coercion or entrapment has a difficult criterion to establish when it comes to a negligence case due to the fact it entails you proving that the behavior of the defendant was under the control of or they were being manipulated by someone else. Coercion and entrapment, however, can be a defense against negligence if you are able to provide evidence that the defendant was forced or tricked into performing certain actions.
Governmental immunity: Certain rules come into play pertaining to when you are able to file a claim against a government entity. Should the government be accountable for the incident, and the appropriate exceptions are not in place, the victim might conceivably be denied recourse. In other instances, the injured party may have valid legal recourse, but it may be heavily restricted. Anytime a claim of negligence includes governmental immunity, the defense could be a comprehensive bar to compensation, or it may restrict what the plaintiff is able to collect for their losses.
Yes, a claim of negligence can be thwarted with an immunity defense. In order for an immunity defense to see a successful outcome, however, immunity has to pertain to the circumstances. For immunity to be a legitimate defense to a claim of negligence, the individual accused of negligence has to construct a comprehensive argument based on any applicable laws.
Every government entity formulates its own dictates for when immunity is applicable and when a plaintiff is able to file a lawsuit for negligence. It is essential that you meticulously examine the local, state, and federal regulations concerning immunity to decide if it is an actionable defense against negligence.
If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of another person’s distracted driving or other negligent behavior, then you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for damages. You need a reputable personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these kinds of cases.
If you are seeking legal representation for a pending lawsuit and you want an attorney who is esteemed, qualified, and knowledgeable in handling these sorts of injury cases, then the personal injury attorneys at the Injury Victim Law offices are just who you’re looking for.
If you would like a free consultation with one of our skilled personal injury attorneys regarding a case you feel you may have, we are here to help. Please reach out to us by calling (800) 245-2774 to schedule your appointment for your free consultation today.