When an Iowa resident suffers an injury in an accident, they may feel compelled to file a lawsuit to try to recover their losses. Litigation itself is costly, can be lengthy, and can impose significant stress on an individual who has been accused of causing another person’s harm. Facing a civil lawsuit for personal injury losses can be overwhelming and hard to face on one’s own.

Thankfully in the Quad Cities and throughout the area, civil litigation defendants can work with personal injury defense attorneys to help them protect their interests. A person named in a personal injury claim can provide defenses to explain and help overcome the legal allegations that have been filed against them. This post touches on a few possible defense options for personal injury defendants, but as with all posts on this blog, no reader should rely on this information as legal advice.

Identification of a Deficiency in Plaintiff’s Case

A claim of negligence, the legal theory on which many personal injury cases are based, is proven through the use of evidence in correspondence with the required elements under the law. For example, a plaintiff must allege and prove that a defendant owed them a duty of care at the time their harm was sustained, and that the defendant breached their duty. These are not the only elements of a negligence claim, but if a defendant can prove that they did not owe a duty to the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s negligence claim may fail.

Proof of Contributory Negligence Against the Plaintiff

Contributory negligence is a legal concept that purports that in some cases, plaintiffs contribute to the wrongdoing that causes their harm. In the case of a car accident, a plaintiff may claim that the defendant caused 100% of their losses, which total $100,000. If the defendant can show that the plaintiff was 40% responsible for the accident, the plaintiff’s damages may be reduced by 40%, leaving them with a $60,000 recovery.

Proving a Plaintiff Assumed the Risk of their Injuries

When a person understands the risks that may be involved in an event and chooses to participate in it regardless of what could happen, they may be considered to have assumed the risks of their participation. For example, if a doctor clearly explains the risks associated with a medical procedure and their patient consents, that patient may be considered to have assumed the risks of the procedure if they later suffer a complication that the doctor clearly identified and explained to them before going through the treatment.

It is possible to successfully defend claims of negligence and other personal injury theories of law. An attorney who works in the personal injury defense field can be an excellent asset for a person facing this overwhelming process and can help their client tailor a defense plan that meets their legal needs.