If you want to pursue an auto accident claim, the defendant can come up with all sorts of defenses. However, the following defenses are some of the most common ones.
This classic defense claims that you did not suffer any injuries during the accident. It might not look like much of a defense, but it makes sense if you consider the number of people who present false auto accident claims every year. There are even people who stage auto accidents and present false claims as a way of making easy money. Therefore, don't be surprised if the defendant claims that you weren't injured. Just provide proof of your injuries, such as medical reports, to prove your claim.
The defendant can also claim that even though you were injured, you are also to blame for your damages. This can be a complete defense or it can result in reduced damages. It depends on how much you contributed to the accident (according to your state) and your state laws. For example, a few states bar recovery of damages in assessing where the plaintiff marginally contributed to the accident.
If you are involved in an auto accident while having a pre-existing injury, then the liable party is only obligated to compensate you for the actual damages you suffered due to the latest accident. Thus, some defendants use the pre-existing injury claim as defenses to avoid compensation or reduce the applicable damages.
Expiry of Statute of Limitations
You only have a limited time to instigate an auto accident lawsuit if you are injured in an accident. The limited time, known as the statute of limitations, depends on the state laws. The statute of limitations can be as short as two years or it can be long as four years depending on the state. Therefore, if you show up with a claim three years after the accident (in a state where the statute of limitations is two years), the defendant might use the statute of limitations to bar your collection of damages.
Failure to Mitigate Damages
Lastly, the defendant might also argue that even though you did not cause the injuries, your negligence worsened the damages. The argument here is that there were things you could have done to mitigate the damages, but you didn't take those actions. Maybe you delayed in getting medical treatment or you didn't follow your doctor's orders.
Hopefully, you will be able to surmount the defenses and get the damages you deserve. Consult a personal injury lawyer, like Carl L. Britt, Jr., early in the case to improve your chances of success.