Being involved in a car accident is likely one of the most difficult times you will have to go through. What’s worse is if you believe you were partially to blame for it. If you have a car accident claim against you, follow along to find out what defenses you can take and how a proficient Pasco County, Florida car accident lawyer at Wendy Doyle-Palumbo, Esq. can help you build a strategy.
What are the most common defenses for a car accident claim?
Rest assured, there are many possible defenses you can take against a car accident claim even if you believe that you are partially responsible. The most common defenses include the following:
- The plaintiff knew or should have reasonably known about a potential danger but proceeded anyway (i.e., according to the official accident report).
- The plaintiff had pre-existing injuries that were not incurred at the time of the car accident (i.e., according to their medical records).
- The plaintiff has exaggerated the severity of their injuries to receive a greater award (i.e., they have not visited a doctor, they have not followed a prescribed treatment plan, etc).
- The plaintiff has not made a reasonable effort to mitigate their damages (i.e., they have not returned to work when they were cleared to do so).
- The plaintiff missed Florida’s statute of limitation for filing the car accident claim (i.e., two years from the date of the accident).
However, the most common defense that is taken is citing Florida’s comparative negligence law. This law states that, if a plaintiff is partially responsible for their car accident, then they may only recover a portion of their damages.
For example, if the court deems that you, the defendant, are 70 percent at fault for the car accident while the plaintiff is 30 percent at fault, then they will only order you to pay for 70 percent of their claimed damages.
What evidence do I need for a comparative negligence defense?
If you wish to cite comparative negligence law in your case proceedings, you must provide the court with a sufficient amount of evidence that proves the fault of the plaintiff. Such evidence includes the following:
- A copy of the official accident report conducted by a law enforcement officer at the scene.
- Oral or written testimonies by witnesses present at the time your accident occurred.
- Photos and videos of your injuries, car damages, and the overall scene.
- Security camera footage of your accident playing out.
- Medical documents that state the date, time, and seriousness of your injuries.
If you require assistance with collecting this evidence, then you must retain the services of a talented Pasco County, Florida auto accident lawyer. We look forward to building a strong legal defense with you.