Top 3 Defenses to Personal Injury Claims in Texas
When you are injured because of the reckless actions of another party, the law requires that you be financially compensated. Naturally, the defendants in your case (the person/people who injured you) are going to use every tool available to shift the blame away from them so they don’t have to pay.
This article will explain the top 3 defenses you are likely to encounter in a personal injury suit in Texas.
Comparative Fault Defense
Texas law follows a modified comparative fault rule that stipulates that what a person can collect from a personal injury claim depends on to what degree they were responsible for the accident.
For example, if Mike sues Mary for $100,000 in damages because Mary rear-ended Mike, but the court finds that Mike is 25% responsible because he braked suddenly, Mike can only recover $75,000.
Also, if a person is found to be 50% responsible for an accident, they cannot recover any damages under the modified comparative fault rule. So, you can see why the defendant would be quick to shift as much blame as possible onto the plaintiff for an injury. If they can successfully prove that you are at least 50% responsible, they don’t have to pay anything.
Pre-Existing Condition Defense
To recover damages from the defendant, the plaintiff must prove the following:
- The defendant owed them a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty
- That breach of duty caused an injury
- The injury resulted in damages
Because of this, insurance companies love to claim that the plaintiff’s injuries did not occur because of the accident but happened somewhere else and, thus, were not caused by their client. If the defendant did not cause the injury, then no damages are owed.
Assumption of Risk
In theory, this category of defense also falls under the comparative fault rule because it suggests that you contributed to hurting yourself and should not be allowed to recover damages as a result.
In this defense, the plaintiff argues that you “assumed the risk” of getting injured by participating willingly in an activity that is inherently dangerous. This is commonly presented in lawsuits over injuries from contact sports (football, baseball, basketball). In theory, if you assumed the risk of injury and participated in the activity anyway, then the plaintiff no longer owes you a duty of care. An important aspect of this defense is the knowledge of risk — the defendant must have been fully aware of the level of danger associated with the activity for this defense to be presented.
Don’t Face These Defenses Alone — Hire Carabin Shaw to Represent Your Personal Injury Claim
These tactics to avoid responsibility may be new to you, but we’ve seen them hundreds of times. We’ve successfully represented personal injury claims in San Antonio and across Texas for 30 years in spite of them. Call our team at 800-862-1260 if you were injured in an auto accident, at work, a dog attack, or by a defective product to get your case reviewed for free. We put our clients first because we care. We look forward to working with you.
Contacting a Carabin Shaw Attorney does not bind you to work with the firm and is free of charge.