In a personal injury case, the defendant is the person or entity believed to have caused the victim’s injuries. They could be an individual, a company, or even a government agency.
The plaintiff, who is the injured party, files their claim against the defendant seeking compensation for damages and harm suffered due to their actions. It’s important to understand how personal injury cases arise and what exactly a defendant’s role is.
Personal injury cases can arise from a wide variety of situations. Some of the most common types include:
Slip and fall accidents: Property owners may be held responsible if their negligence leads to a hazardous condition that causes someone to slip or trip and get injured.
Medical malpractice: When a healthcare professional’s negligence leads to injury or illness, this could form the basis of a civil claim for compensation.
Dog bites: Dog owners may be held liable if their pet bites someone and causes injury.
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In personal injury law, the defendant refers to those being accused of inflicting injuries upon a plaintiff (the injured party filing a lawsuit). Upon being served, the defendant may choose to negotiate, deny liability, or suggest that the plaintiff is partially at fault.
As such, some commonly used defenses in personal injury cases include:
Modified comparative negligence: Under this defense, the defendant asserts that the plaintiff contributed to their own injuries. This could potentially reduce the compensation awarded or prevent the plaintiff from recovering any damages.
Assumption of risk: If the plaintiff knew of the risks involved and still chose to engage in the activity that resulted in injury, this could potentially negate any right for compensation.
Expiration of the statute of limitations: Most Texas personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the accident date. If the plaintiff fails to comply with the deadline, this could provide grounds for dismissal of their case by the defense.
To succeed in a personal injury case, victims must prove that the defendant is liable. There are various ways of establishing liability.
Negligence lies at the heart of most personal injury claims. It occurs when a person breaches their duty of care to others, resulting in harm.
Proving negligence involves establishing four key elements:
A Texas personal injury lawyer can help you prove that the defendant is liable for your damages.
To build an effective personal injury case, victims need to gather evidence, consult an attorney, and follow doctor-prescribed protocols quickly and decisively.
Here’s how you can take these steps:
Collecting evidence is essential in supporting your case.
Keep a record of all the relevant documents, including:
The more documentation you have, the stronger your case will be.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial in securing fair compensation.
A skilled attorney can:
Most Austin personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations, so it’s best to speak to a few different lawyers before making a decision.
As part of any successful personal injury claim, evidence must show that all efforts have been made to recover from injuries suffered in an accident.
By doing so, you’re showing a commitment to your recovery and minimizing the chance of any arguments that you failed to mitigate your damages.
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The Texas statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing your claim, so be aware of these time constraints. Additionally, acting quickly ensures that evidence remains intact and witnesses can accurately recall details.
Personal injuries can be a difficult thing to deal with. If you need help proving liability, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer.
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