Given the tremendous impact that a car accident can have on your life, you’ve probably found your way to our blog in hopes of learning more about taking legal action to offset your losses. Reading up on the process and what you can do to strengthen your position is a good first step, but you might be worried about how your own actions leading up to the wreck will negatively impact your personal injury lawsuit.
It’s true that any fault allocated to you in your car accident lawsuit will diminish your ultimate recovery. The good news is that your claim won’t be denied simply because you were partially at fault, so long as your portion of fault isn’t more than the defendant’s.
However, if you want to recover as much as you can from your car accident claim, then you need to be prepared to address any arguments pertaining to comparative negligence. How do you go about doing that?
How to address comparative negligence in your car accident case
As daunting as it can be to think about coming under attack in your personal injury case, there are ways to diminish the defense’s arguments, such as by doing the following:
- Attacking witness credibility: The defense might try to lay blame on you by presenting testimony from witnesses who claim to have seen you acting negligently at the time of the accident. But these individuals might not be the most trustworthy individuals. So, look for ways to diminish their credibility, whether by pointing out prior inconsistent statements or highlighting logistical issues pertaining to what they claim to have seen, that way the judge and jury will give their testimony less weight.
- Focusing on contradictory evidence: If you know how the defense is going to try to blame you for the accident, then you can focus on contradicting their evidence. An expert witness, such as someone who conducts accident reconstructions, may be able to help you here, but you also shouldn’t overlook the value of police reports and other witness testimony.
- Utilizing trustworthy experts: Some car accident cases come down to a battle of the experts. Any time you use an expert, you need to ensure that they’re reliable, trustworthy, and likeable. This will help you counteract the defense’s arguments that will try to paint you in a bad light and make it look like you’re at fault for the accident in question.
- Highlighting proportionality: Remember, if you win your case then your ultimate recovery is only going to be reduced if fault is found, and only by the amount of fault that’s allocated to you. Therefore, you can minimize the impact of a comparative fault showing by presenting evidence that diminishes the proportion of fault that’s assigned to you and reiterating to the judge and jury just how negligent the defendant was in causing your wreck.
Take a holistic approach to your personal injury case
To recover as much as possible from your car accident personal injury lawsuit, you have to address every aspect of your case, leaving no stone unturned. This will ensure that you’re not taken by surprise at trial, and that you have effective counterarguments to protect your position.