Common Arguments Used by Auto Accident Defendants
Our Denver car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling injury cases. It doesn’t matter if you have a minor scrape or a major collision, we are here for you.
If you’re at fault in a car accident, it’s not uncommon for any seriously injured persons to file a lawsuit against you for medical expenses and compensation for lost wages or pain and suffering. While this is not a comfortable place to find yourself, it’s important to know some common arguments (or defenses) used to dismiss a lawsuit and/or limit the extent of your liability (i.e. what you or your insurance has to pay).
Also, if you’re the one filing the lawsuit, you and your attorney need to be aware of these arguments in order to navigate your way through the legal process and avoid hitting a dead end.
Argument #1: “It wasn’t all my fault!”
In many cases, the defendant will claim that the accident was not his or her fault, or not solely his or her fault.
Depending on what your state’s laws are, this argument may or may not help. Some states are “no fault” states, which means each individual’s insurance pays for their own claims, regardless of who actually caused the accident.
Another handful of states have what’s called contributory negligence. In these 5 states, if a person is even 1% at fault for the accident, they are not eligible to receive any compensation for damages.
Most states follow either pure or modified comparative fault. This means that each person involved in an accident is assigned a percentage of the fault and compensated based on the rules set by that state. In many states, if you’re more than 50% or 51% at fault, you cannot receive compensation for damages. Colorado abides by a modified comparative fault rule in personal injury cases.
All that to say, if you are facing a car accident lawsuit and can prove that you were not entirely at fault for the accident, it could potentially get the lawsuit thrown out or at least lessen the amount you’re responsible to pay.
Argument #2: “The accident was years ago!”
Another common argument is that the lawsuit wasn’t filed during the statute of limitations, or the time period allotted by law for a lawsuit to be filed.
AllLaw.com describes it this way:
A statute of limitations defense is a matter of law, meaning that regardless of the facts surrounding the case, if the suit wasn’t filed in a timely manner, it will be time-barred. While there are some exceptions to statutes of limitations based on when a particular injury is discovered, the general rule is that if a case is filed too late, it won’t hold up in court.
If you have been sued for a Colorado car accident that occurred more than 3 years ago, time is on your side in this case. Very rarely are exceptions made for going beyond the statute of limitations.
Argument #3: “He wasn’t hurt THAT bad!”
The last argument that a defense will use is that the injured person is over exaggerating his or her injuries. Often, the plaintiff will claim they cannot do certain tasks that they can in fact do, or they won’t follow their doctor’s recommendations for recovery and injure themselves further. In either case, they are not providing accurate information about their injuries, and if they’re found out, their case can be severely weakened or even dismissed entirely.
Lawsuits are messy and building a good defense is crucial, so make sure to hire an experienced Colorado car accident attorney that can guide you through the process. Mack Babcock has extensive legal experience and strives to help all of his clients receive a fair ruling in and out of court. Contact the Babcock Law Firm for a free consultation.