How Liable Parties Use an Affirmative Defense to Settle Injury Cases for Less
If you are injured because of another person’s negligence, you might be able to file a claim for damages. However, a liable party or an insurance company may try to downplay your injuries or deny your claim altogether. In many cases, they may argue what is known as an affirmative defense, putting you to blame for the accident or your injuries.
At Coker Law, we represent individuals who have been injured due to someone else’s recklessness or wrongdoing. We are experienced personal injury lawyers who have recovered tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. If you were hurt in an accident, contact our office at (904) 356-6071 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Is an Affirmative Defense?
In order to avoid liability or to limit the amount of damages that they may have to pay, a defendant may try to argue an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense is an argument presented by a liable party to try and show that they were not 100% responsible for the other person’s damages.
Affirmative defenses may include but are not limited to:
- Statute of limitations. A defendant may argue that you did not timely file a cause of action. In other words, the defense may say that you exceeded the statute of limitations and therefore are not entitled to damages.
- Assumption of the risk. In some cases, a defendant may say that you knew the potential for harm involved in the activity and, therefore, assumed the risk.
- Comparative negligence. Another affirmative defense that a liable party may argue is that you were partially to blame for your injuries. If the argument is successful, your recovery may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
- Release of liability. Along the same lines as assumption of the risk, a liable party may argue that you signed a release of liability acknowledging the potential for harm.
- Pre-existing condition. A defendant may try to prove that you had a pre-existing condition and that your injuries were not caused by the accident itself. They may also say that you did not attempt to mitigate your damages if you did not immediately seek medical treatment.
It is important to know that a liable party or their insurance company will use any number of tactics to avoid taking full responsibility for your injuries. Without the help of an attorney, you may end up settling your case for less than it is worth.
Contact Our Office for a Free Case Evaluation
Were you injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence? Contact our office at (904) 356-6071 to schedule a free consultation. At Coker Law, there are no fees unless we win. We are real trial lawyers with over 1400 verdicts. We handle serious and catastrophic injury cases.
Get the justice you deserve. Call now to discuss your personal injury claim directly with an experienced member of our legal team. We proudly serve clients in Jacksonville and throughout Florida.