Being injured in an accident usually disrupts your entire life, and often you may suffer from injuries that make it difficult to work at your job and to enjoy your family. You are entitled to be compensated for several different areas of damage, but you must take action to get the money you deserve. If you have filed a personal injury suit, you may encounter a trial where the other side will use several strategies to avoid having to pay you. Read on and learn more about these potential defensive moves so that you won't be surprised when you encounter them.
Are you 100% at fault?
Be prepared for the other side to say that you share some of the fault for the accident. Anytime they can show that they are not 100% at fault, the amount of compensation you are due is reduced. Often, the other side will claim that you failed to use "due care". This means that you could have prevented or at least lessened the impact of the accident by your own actions. Since everyone driving on the road, using a service or visiting a business shares a responsibility to use due care, they will try to show that you might have been distracted, speeding, failed to obey instructions or some other action that somehow contributed to the accident.
For instance, consider this: You are shopping in a grocery store and accidentally walk right into a stack of heavy cans in the middle of the aisle. Most grocery stores have these displays, so it should not have been a surprise to see it, but you knocked the display down and several of the heavy tomato sauce cans hit you on your toe. Your toe is now broken and you wish to sue the store. The store will try to show that you should have been paying attention to where you were going instead of reading the nutrition information on a label. They may be able to use comparative fault to have you take 50% of the responsibility for the accident, thus reducing your monetary compensation.
Is it too late?
As you may know, you only have a certain amount of time to file suit against someone or a company that wronged you, and that time varies from state to state. While it is very likely that a suit will be thrown out before it even really begins if you filed too late, there are some gray areas that might allow a suit to proceed. For example, you may be able to show that you did not know about the harm done to you until recently, such as with toxic chemical exposure. The other side may try to show, in that instance, that you should have known about the exposure and the resulting illness prior to the time you filed. Be sure you are prepared to show that you only recently discovered the harm done to you.
Did you sign a waiver?
Most everything you do nowadays requires a waiver, where you agree to take responsibility for any injuries resulting from using a business or service. While these waivers are enforceable, they are not meant to cover the business when true negligence causes an injury. Blanket protection for a business doesn't exist; they must do their part to protect users and customers.
If you've suffered an injury, speak to a personal injury lawyer right away. For more information, contact companies like Radano & Lide.