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Common Defenses to Personal Injury Cases

How Insurance Companies Defend Against Injury Claims

When someone is injured because of the negligence, recklessness or even the intentional conduct of another person or people, the injured party has legal rights and options that arise immediately. However, there are several challenges that must be overcome in order for justice to be obtained, and many of these challenges involve dealing with the defense in a personal injury lawsuit.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by someone else, you need to seek the help of experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyers as soon as possible so that the common defense tactics discussed below can be handled properly.

Delay, Delay, Delay

One common defense tactic that’s employed involves the delaying of the settlement negotiation and/or the litigation process for as long as possible. This is usually done for several reasons, but the most common reason is that the person who has been injured is usually faced with mounting medical bills and other costs, and the longer it takes to obtain any sort of recovery, the more desperate the injured person is likely to become.

When an injured person obtains the help of experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyers, however, this tactic can be met with several different responses designed to prompt the defense to move the matter forward. These responses can include negotiation tactics as well as seeking help from the court by way of motions.

Impeaching Witnesses

If a matter proceeds to trial, one of the most common defense tactics that’s used is to impeach any witnesses that may appear on behalf of the injured person. Impeaching a witness basically means that defense attorneys will work to discredit that witness in any number of ways, whether they relate to the testimony being offered or not. Any problems that can be raised in regards to a witness may make his or her testimony less credible, which could harm the plaintiff’s case.

An experienced and skilled San Francisco personal injury attorney who has handled many trials in the past has doubtlessly encountered this tactic and come to learn several responses to it. These responses can include submitting timely objections to certain lines of questioning that may be irrelevant and/or rehabilitating the witness on the stand in the eyes of the court.

Comparative Negligence

The defense will often attempt to shift more or all the blame to the victim in order to minimize a payout. If the defense can prove that the victim is partially to blame for their injuries, then the liability of the defense is reduced. In California, a plaintiff's verdict will be reduced by how much he/she is responsible for his/her own injuries.

An example would be if a victim was hurt in a rear end accident, the defense may blame the victim for not wearing a seatbelt to argue that the accident could have been avoided. Although the victim may still be able to recover damages, it would be far less if comparative negligence is applied.

Pre-Existing Injuries

Insurance companies will review your medical history and attempt to claim that your injuries are pre-existing injuries rather than the result of your accident. This is why it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible for a more accurate diagnosis. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to connect your treatment to your injuries.

Despite what people may hear and see in advertisements that make it seem like obtaining a personal injury recovery is a simple process, the fact of the matter is that it is not.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by someone else, contact the team of San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Scarlett Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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