Side impact collisions often happen after drivers fail to stop or yield at an intersection. To assign fault, a plaintiff must show who was responsible for the accident, and the fault is typically based on negligence. Drivers accused of causing such accidents have certain defenses available for use in personal injury lawsuits.
Can Insufficient Proof Be Used As a Defense?
A defendant’s ability to use insufficient proof as a defense depends on the case’s circumstances. For the plaintiff to win, they must prove that a defendant owed them a duty of care, that the duty was breached, and that the breach caused the accident. In turn, it must be proven the accident caused the plaintiff’s losses. If any one or more of these elements is missing, the defendant may be able to use insufficient proof as a defense.
If the Defendant Was Not Completely Responsible
In many cases, contributory negligence can be used as a defense. Here, the plaintiff’s actions are closely examined. If the person is found to be partially responsible for the accident, their economic recovery may be reduced or eliminated.
Comparative Negligence Defenses
In a comparative negligence defense, the defendant and their auto accident injury lawyer in Spokane, WA examine the plaintiff’s behavior for negligence. The court assigns fault by percentage. For instance, if a plaintiff is found to be 40% responsible for the accident, their award would decrease by that amount.
When plaintiffs assume the risks involved in dangerous activities, but they proceed anyway, they may be limited in recovery. For the assumption of risk doctrine to be applied, the plaintiff must be aware of the risky nature of the activity, and they must voluntarily accept it. This defense isn’t typically applied in side impact crash cases, however, because there’s no way to assume risk when it’s unexpected.
Should a Side Impact Crash Victim or Defendant Consult an Attorney?
Side impact crashes can be devastating for victims, and they can carry lasting financial consequences for both sides. If involved in such an accident, whether they’re the plaintiff or the defendant, drivers should consult an auto accident injury lawyer in Spokane, WA. Either side can find more information and get the representation they need to achieve a fair outcome.
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