The first step towards getting compensated for an injury that happens due to another party’s negligence or recklessness is usually filing a claim. However, you need to be aware that defendants and their insurance companies will vigorously defend their side.

The following are standard defenses that if the prosecution does not understand and respond to them, may dramatically affect the outcome of your case. Keep these defenses in mind when you file a personal injury claim.

The Importance of Understanding Defenses

Let’s open up with general examples before we get into examples of defenses you may come across. Defendants in personal injury cases will naturally be motivated to limit their liability to avoid being in court altogether and not have to pay up for their negligence.

There will be multiple twists and turns in a personal injury case that ultimately challenges its validity. Being prepared for these strengthens your case.

Defenses Used in Personal Injury Cases

The following are some common defenses that you can expect from a defendant. Their objective is to reduce or deny liability to reduce the amount that would be awarded to the plaintiff:

●    Comparative Negligence: An applicable doctrine brought forth by defendants, stating that the amount of carelessness of the plaintiff, of whichever degree in a given accident, contributed to his injuries, reducing their share of liability. Usually, it appears in cases where both parties contributed to some extent to the accident.

●    Assumption of Risk: It is used as a defense, based on the idea that the injured party had knowledge of the risk involved in the activity that hurt them and voluntarily took part in it. Risks generally relate to the dangers most likely to occur.


●    Statute of Limitation: The law provides a time limit within which to file a claim. If the plaintiff does not file a claim within this given period, they will lose the right to seek compensation. The defendant may claim that the plaintiff’s delay was due to the fact that their injuries aren’t as severe as they claim them to be.

●    Lack of Causal Link: The defendant will most probably assert that his or her negligence, or at other times the lack of it, does not substantially relate to the plaintiff’s injuries. In short, the defendant argues that the plaintiff’s injuries are preexisting or caused by involuntary elements unrelated to the accident.

How to Address Defenses in Your Case

The defendant will attempt to reduce the damages owed through careful planning and strategic legal representation. The following are some of the steps to counter them:

  1. Gather sufficient evidence: You need to submit evidence supporting claims since the defenses to such claims may involve comparative negligence and a lack of causation. This evidence can cover medical records, eyewitness statements, or accident reports.
  2. Statements from expert witnesses: Expert witnesses are specialists in their field. As a result, their statements hold weight in personal injury cases. Asking an expert witness to go through the details of the case and come up with meaningful conclusions regarding case elements will be beneficial in tackling common defenses.
  3. Hire a lawyer: It is impossible to handle a personal injury case alone. This is why it is recommended to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer for assistance. The lawyer knows everything about the common defenses and will be prepared to counter them.


Knowledge of the common defenses in personal injury cases can contribute to the success of a case to some extent. Also, don’t forget to seek the services of a skilled lawyer when dealing with a personal injury case. In addition to tackling defenses, the lawyer will also represent the victim in out-of-court settlements and in court, if necessary.