Personal injury cases are very common in our society. They arise when one party is injured in a public location or a location that is owned by another person or group and believes that it is the fault of that person or group. There are three main defenses that the defendant can use in order to avoid having to pay a settlement to the party that is claiming injury.
1. Contributory Negligence
One of the most common cases that a plaintiff will bring to court is the idea that he or she was injured as a result of the negligence of another party. For example, a person could sue a retail store if she walked into a store, slipped on the wet floor, and hurt herself. She can make the claim that the water was not sufficiently cleaned up by the party maintaining the building and that is why she is injured. The defense can make the case of contributory negligence, which means that the woman's own negligence contributed to her injury if the defendant put up a "Wet Floor" warning. It is not the fault of the defendant that the customer neglected to read the clearly displayed "Wet Floor" sign.
2. Comparative Negligence
Another method that the defense can use is comparative negligence, which is when the plaintiff will have to pay for a percentage of his medical bills that matches the degree to which he as at fault in an accident. An example of this is the plaintiff tries to sue a store because a coffee was spilled on the ground and he slipped and fell. There was no "Wet Floor" sign, so the owner of the store is partially at fault. However, the plaintiff is also partially at fault because the coffee on the ground was clearly visible and he could have easily avoided it.
3. Assumption of Risk
This defense is used if the plaintiff was doing something dangerous on another person's property and got hurt. For example, if a customer at a retail store was hanging from the ceiling lights and falls, she should not attempt to sue the owner of the store because hanging from light fixtures is dangerous. She assumed the risk when she chose to hang from them and therefore the fault that she was injured is her own.
For more information, contact a personal injury defense lawyer as soon as possible.
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