Personal injury claims are meant to protect the victims of accidents caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness. While many personal injury cases end in reasonable settlements where both the plaintiff and defendant agree and understand one another’s perspective, there are certainly instances where one or both sides pushes the envelope into unreasonable territory. Whether you are an individual who has been injured, an insurance company, or a potentially liable organization, it is important to understand what makes personal injury claims valid, and what legal defenses can be issued by defendants. Our personal injury attorney represents both sides of the aisle, which gives our legal team unique insights to help our clients successfully resolve their personal injury case.
Today, we will discuss negligence, comparative negligence, challenging the legitimacy of an injury, and the concept of legal assumption of risk.
Somerset County, NJ Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Negligence
New Jersey is a comparative negligence state. What this means within a personal injury case is that plaintiffs may still be eligible for financial compensation despite being partially liable for their injurious accident. This is a common topic for victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, or other motor vehicle accidents.
In order to successfully recover compensation through a personal injury claim, a plaintiff must be found to be less at fault than the entity from whom they are seeking damages. When comparative negligence comes into play, insurance companies will often attempt to prove that the plaintiff’s role in causing the accident was larger than initially anticipated. Furthermore, the percentage to which each party is at fault will directly correlate with the total damages awarded.
Franklin Personal Injury Defense Lawyer Identifies Connection Between Accident and Injury
Another common tactic used by our Franklin personal injury defense lawyer is questioning the validity of a sustained injury. This can be done by challenging three distinct items:
- The injury was directly caused by the accident in question
- The injury was diagnosed and treated properly by a qualified medical professional
- The injury led to legitimate expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
How these items will be challenged depends greatly on the nature of the circumstances of the personal injury claim. There are also a litany of smaller factors which a qualified attorney might call into question such as a plaintiff not following doctor’s orders, leading to their condition worsening through no fault of the defendant.
What is a Legal Assumption of Risk Within Personal Injury Cases?
While personal injury cases are based on the foundation that a party acted negligently or recklessly, there is also the concept of an assumption of risk. The legal definition of an assumption of risk alludes to the concept that some actives are inherently dangerous and that an injured person knowingly assumed the risk by partaking in such an activity.
In order to be a legally valid defense, a Somerset County personal injury attorney would need to show that the injurious accident was caused by one of the foreseeable dangers. Let’s look at an extreme example to illustrate this point.
John is scuba diving in shark infested waters. This is certainly a dangerous situation and John has assumed risk by partaking in this activity. Later, his air tank malfunctions and he suffers injuries due to drowning. The cause of John’s accident was a malfunctioning air tank and had nothing to do with the area, the sharks, or anything but the proper use of the product. In this case, John would likely have a solid personal injury claim against either his scuba guide, the manufacturer of the scuba equipment, or both.
Contact a Somerville Personal Injury Defense Lawyer
The personal injury defense legal team of The Law Office of Brian J. Levine has extensive experience serving clients located in Somerset County, Hunterdon County towns such as Somerville, Franklin, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, Hillsborough, and all of Central New Jersey. Attorney Levine represents victims of injurious accidents as well as the organizations who have been accused of negligent or reckless actions. This perspective allows to to have a deep understanding of the personal injury legal process, the defenses, and how to secure positive outcomes from either side of the equation.