If you've received paperwork indicating that you're being sued because someone was injured on your property, did you know that you can have a personal injury attorney represent you? Many people think of personal injury attorneys as helping only those who are suing, and not being sued, but that's not really the case. If you have to defend yourself against charges that your alleged negligence caused someone else's injury, a good personal injury attorney is the best person to talk to.
Comparative and Contributory Negligence
Numerous defenses are possible in a personal injury lawsuit, and you need to have representation who can combat the charges in detail. Personal injury laws vary from state to state, with a lot of states allowing courts to divide blame between the two parties (this is called comparative negligence). If you live in a comparative negligence state, you must have a good lawyer who can reduce, if not eliminate, the blame on your side.
Other states, such as Alabama and North Carolina, have something called contributory negligence. Defense is a little easier in these states because its basically all or nothing -- if you can prove the plaintiff had any responsibility for his or her injury, then you are considered to have none.
Also in the mix is assumption of risk. If you can prove the injured person knew he or she was taking part in a risky activity, you may be able to fight the charges. However, be careful with this type of defense. Technically, any activity could be considered risky to an extent; for example, walking outside on a sidewalk near trees could be considered risky because tree roots might have made the sidewalk uneven. The plaintiff could successfully argue that had you just looked where you were going, you would have been able to avoid uneven sidewalks.
Never try to defend yourself in a personal injury case because, unless you've studied your state's negligence laws thoroughly, you're not going to have the resources to fight the charges. A personal injury lawyer will know about precedents and technicalities that could help you during your case. Plus, if the plaintiff throws you a curveball, either through ridiculous claims or more accusations related to the case, the lawyer can help fend those off. Contact one now to start putting together a defense that fits state laws and the circumstances of the injury in question.