The Defense Takes The Field: Know What To Expect
The legal system presents everyone with an opportunity to get paid when they get hurt. If the insurance carrier for that careless driver fails to offer you enough, you have the option to demand more and to take action in court if your demands are not met. This system works both ways, of course, so the other side will be using several defensive tactics to foil your efforts for compensation. Read on so that you'll be prepared when the other side puts their defensive team on the field against you in court.
When it looks like fault can be spread around: Some accidents are caused by a clear-cut villain, but for each of those there are accidents in which the fault may be distributed among more than one party. If your actions played any part in the accident, the other side will seize on that in an attempt to reduce their percentage of liability. Liability means the part their driver played, and if they played less than 100% you could end up getting less compensation. This doesn't mean that you do share any liability; even a hint of anything could result in this commonly-used defensive move by the defendant.
A common charge to reduce liability is that you failed to use due care. This just means that you should have been more careful, more aware of your surroundings and that you should have taken some action to avoid the collision. For example, if you entered an intersection without looking at cross traffic they could contend that you would have been able to brake and avoid the collision if you had observed the oncoming car.
If you were speeding at the time of the wreck, that might be used to reduce their liability as well. Speeding and other traffic law offenses (even in your past) could be used to show that you might be 25% (or some other percentage) at fault for the wreck.
Did you waive your rights to sue? You may have noticed a waiver of legal responsibility in that stack of paperwork when you joined the gym or rented that picnic pavilion at the park. You really had no choice but to sign it since joining and use was contingent on your agreement. What if you signed a waiver but then got injured because of faulty equipment?
Waivers are not the get-out-of-jail-free card that some businesses wish they could be. They really only serve a few purposes: to trick victims into not filing suit and as a defense tactic in court. Most total liability waivers are much too broad and do nothing to prevent lawsuits, as long as you have a case that proves the business's actions led to your injury. Everyone has a responsibility to use care and to observe rules and warnings, but that is not more important than the business providing a safe environment.
Speak to your personal injury attorney to learn more about other tactics to expect when you go to court.