As you proceed with building your personal injury lawsuit, you’re going to devote a lot of time toward proving liability and the extent of your damages. This makes sense. You can’t recover compensation if you can’t prove fault, and you can’t recover the compensation that you need unless you can prove the extent of your damages.
But as you work to gather evidence to shore up these aspects of your case, you can’t overlook defense arguments that may come up. In fact, one of the best ways to position your claim for success is to anticipate the other side’s arguments and prepare to effectively counter them. Let’s look at a few ways that you can go about doing that.
- Address comparative fault: Florida’s comparative fault statute allows a defendant to present evidence demonstrating that the plaintiff was at least partially at fault for the accident in question. The jury can then assign fault to the plaintiff if it finds it appropriate to do so, which reduces the amount of recoverable compensation. To address this, you need to be realistic about your driving at the time of the accident and carefully consider whether it was justifiable. You may need to rely on expert witnesses to help you argue that your actions either didn’t contribute to the accident or didn’t contribute as much as the defense would lead you to believe.
- Depose witnesses: Depositions allow you to take testimony outside of court and prior to trial. By doing this, you learn what witnesses know and can figure out how they’re going to testify at trial. This can help expose the defense’s strategies and give you ample time to develop counter arguments. Depositions can also help you pin down witnesses and lock them into their statements. That way if they change their story during trial, then you can attack their credibility since they’ve made inconsistent statements.
- Read up on case law: The defense may be hanging its hat on a very specific procedural rule, evidentiary issue, or holding from prior case law. Therefore, you or, more likely, your attorney will need to engage in thorough research that identifies these areas of opportunities for the defense. Chances are that this research will uncover other legal avenues that you can utilize to counter the defense’s arguments.
- Start your prep work early: You want to make sure that you give yourself ample time to think through the defense’s arguments and how best to attack them. Therefore, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to bring your personal injury case. The sooner you can start developing your legal strategy, the better.
- Consider outside factors: In some instances, the defense may try to lay the blame on road conditions, the weather, or other drivers. So, don’t forget to consider other issues that may have contributed to your accident. In other words, make sure that you’re taking a step back and taking a holistic look at the circumstances of your accident and thinking through every possible argument that the defense could make.
Do you need help fighting back against the defense?
On their face, car accident cases may seem straightforward. But the truth of the matter is that they can be subjected to some pretty complicated and nuanced legal arguments. That’s why you’ll want to put in the work necessary to build the comprehensive and detailed legal claim that you need to support your position. That can be a daunting thought, but you don’t have to navigate your case on your own. Instead, if you want to improve your chances of achieving your desired outcome, then you may want to think about working with a skilled legal advocate to build your claim.