Fighting For Your Rights

How to protect against comparative negligence claims

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Motorcycle Accidents

Virginia recognizes pure contributory negligence, which means that if the victim is found to have contributed fault to the wreck, they can be denied compensation altogether. This is a brutal legal standard that can make it difficult for plaintiffs, but it shouldn’t deter you from seeking the compensation you deserve.

There may be effective ways to fight back against contributory fault arguments. To raise them, you have to anticipate the defense’s evidence and develop ways to counter it. That can be challenging to do when you’re unfamiliar with the law and litigation. That’s why we hope this post will give you a good starting point for developing your arguments.

Facing off against contributory negligence arguments can be stressful. But there are ways to try to protect your interests and protect your ability to recover the compensation you need and deserve. Here are some strategies that you might be able to utilize in your case:

  • Analyze your actions leading up to the accident: Before proceeding with your claim, you need to scrutinize your actions leading up your wreck. This will give you an idea of where your case is vulnerable and where the defense might attack you. Once you’ve done that, you can start thinking about ways to minimize their arguments and contextualize your actions so that they don’t appear as bad as the defense will portray them to be.
  • Use an expert: When causation comes into question, you’re better off having an expert testify as to what the physical evidence shows. This testimony will carry greater weight than yours or the defendants. So, consider utilizing an expert in accident reconstruction, but also be prepared for the defense to have their own witness ready to testify to a contradictory conclusion.
  • Attack witness reliability: You want the judge and jury in your case to believe your witnesses and your evidence more than the defense’s. One way to achieve this is to attack the reliability and the credibility of the defense’s witnesses. So, if you can show that the witness has told inconsistent stories, they have a criminal history tied to untruthfulness, or that they’re motivated to testify against you, then be sure to point those issues out to the jury.
  • Engage in thorough discovery: It’s hard to say for sure what evidence the defense is going to present unless you engage in discovery, which is the process whereby you learn what information the other side possesses. It can include depositions of witnesses, requesting admissions to certain facts, and identification of witnesses and exhibits intended to be used at trial.

Remember, you can’t afford to let the defense paint you into a box, making it look like you were responsible for your accident. So, be thorough and diligent when you build your case.

Protect your personal injury case as much as possible

Even when your car accident personal injury case seems straightforward, it can be riddled with nuances that can jeopardize the validity of your claim. That’s why you must  know how the law applies to your facts and how you can aggressively advocate to impose liability and prove your damages.

If you’re worried about how your actions might impact your case, then avoid making any statements or posting on social media in a way that makes it look like you’re accepting blame for your wreck. Then, you can discuss with your attorney the best way to present your case.