Lawsuits are detrimental for businesses, particularly when they are filed by someone who may have sustained a personal injury because of the company’s negligence. The cases may vary from slip and fall mishaps on-premises to injuries caused by defective products and damages resulting from a corporate vehicle accident. Whatever the case may be, there are good chances that your businesses will be held liable and have to pay a massive amount in compensation. At times, the mishap may have happened due to the plaintiff’s negligence or they may be harassing you to pay more than a valid claim. So it makes sense to have a solid defense strategy in place. Here are the options your lawyer will consider to defend a business client.
The most common defense that lawyers use in these cases is contributory negligence. The strategy is based on the notion that the plaintiff is partly or fully responsible for the injuries and damages sustained in the mishap. For example, the person injured in a crash with the company car may not have worn a seat belt at the time of the accident. Your attorney can validate the fact and argue that not wearing the seat belt was the reason for the injuries. If the defense option works, the other party will not be able to recover compensation from the business. Even if they are awarded the claim, its value will be proportionally reduced based on contributory negligence.
Another strategy that your attorney may rely on is the presence of pre-existing injuries, which the victim already had when the mishap occurred. Logically, you wouldn’t be liable to compensate for anything that didn’t happen because of your fault. However, the other party will have proven personal injury lawyers handling the case, so it can be rather tough to prove pre-existing injuries. Still, your legal expert can closely follow the current evidence and past records of the plaintiff to find out if there were any injuries before the accident.
Assumption of risk
Essentially, the assumption of risk is a legal doctrine that bars an individual from recovering damages for the injuries sustained because they voluntarily exposed themselves to a known danger. A business can claim that the plaintiff was aware of the risk but still took the chance, so the liability for the injury shouldn’t be on the company. For example, a person who trespasses the premises cannot lawfully sue the company to claim damages. This is another defense option that can come to your rescue in such cases.
Release of liability waiver
When the plaintiff signs release of a liability waiver, they cannot seek compensation from your business. However, you cannot rely on this option completely because the court can ignore the liability waiver if the plaintiff can establish grossly negligent or intentional action that led to their injury.
The Statute of Limitations
As the name suggests, the statute of limitations refers to the legal timeframe that the plaintiff has to file a compensation claim. If they extend the period due to any reason, they cannot file a claim or seek compensation after its lapse. The Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims varies from state to state. Your lawyer is the best person to recommend the use of this strategy.
Businesses are at high risk when it comes to personal injury lawsuits and you will almost always have to compensate the victim if you are at fault. However, these defense strategies can come to your rescue if the situation isn’t what it appears on the surface.