To defend against a negligence-based personal injury lawsuit, a defendant may try to negate one of the plaintiff’s causes of action. Additionally, Personal Injury Lawyers in Vermont may use one or more doctrines that reduce or eliminate liability. Here, potential clients, whether they’re a plaintiff or a defendant, can learn how these doctrines may affect a personal injury claim.
A common defense is to prove that the plaintiff was partly responsible for his or her injuries. In contributory negligence cases, a plaintiff’s behavior doesn’t meet the standard for protection and it, along with the defendant’s negligence, causes an injury. Some jurisdictions use the pure contributory negligence doctrine, where a victim who’s even one percent at fault can be denied a settlement. However, in other areas, contributory negligence has been supplanted by the doctrine of comparative negligence.
The comparative negligence doctrine reduces the plaintiff’s recovery according to his or her percentage of fault for the accident. Most jurisdictions have modified the rule, preventing plaintiffs from recovering if they have fault equal to or more than that of the defendant. There are three types of comparative negligence: pure, modified, and slight/gross. In all instances, a defendant’s liability is reduced by the plaintiff’s negligence.
Assumption of Risk
When plaintiffs assume risks associated with dangerous activities, they may not be able to recover for their injuries. For the risk assumption doctrine to apply, a plaintiff must have subjective, actual knowledge of the activity’s risks and they must voluntarily accept them. This defense does not apply to unknown additional dangers. Consult a personal injury attorney to learn more about the comparative negligence defense.
Plaintiffs and Defendants Need to Consult a Lawyer
If someone is sued for negligence, it’s highly likely the plaintiff has already spoken to Personal Injury Lawyers in Vermont. Lawyers work tirelessly to ensure that defendants are held liable for a client’s injuries, but it’s important for the other side to have representation as well. To learn about legal options, including the above defenses to personal injury claims, visit the offices of McVeigh Skiff LLP today for a no-obligation case review.