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How to defend against comparative negligence arguments

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Truck Accidents

In the blink of an eye, a serious truck crash can leave you with catastrophic injuries that can impact the way you live the rest of your life. Recovering from your accident injuries can take time, money, and a lot of effort, too, which can be overwhelming when you’re struggling to deal with the unforeseen pain and mobility issues that’ve been dealt to you. A truck accident personal injury claim might give you some relief that you need, but you’re bound to go up against aggressive defenses when you pursue this course of action.

One of the most common and most effective truck accident defenses is arguing comparative negligence. Pursuant to Georgia law, your ultimate compensatory recovery can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. And if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, then you won’t be able to recover any compensation. So, if the trucker and their employer are effective at showing comparative negligence, then your recovery could be significantly stymied.

How can you protect yourself from a comparative negligence finding?

Although thinking about comparative negligence can be incredibly stressful given the stakes involved, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. This includes doing the following:

  • Carefully analyzing your driving actions leading up to your crash: To effectively defend against comparative negligence arguments, you have to know what facts the defense is going to rely upon when building their arguments. This requires you to analyze your own driving actions and be realistic about any mistakes that you may have made. Only then will you be able to identify weaknesses in your case and develop strategies to address them.
  • Securing an expert to testify on your behalf: If the defense is accusing you of contributing to the accident, then causation is going to be at issue in your case. To help demonstrate that the trucker and their employer were more responsible, you might need an expert who can speak to causation and fault. An accident reconstruction expert might be especially beneficial here, since they can analyze all the evidence from a scientific perspective and render an opinion that’ll likely carry a lot of weight with the jury.
  • Attacking the credibility of the defense’s witnesses: The defense might have their own expert witness, and they’ll probably have others testify on their behalf, too. If you let their testimony come into evidence unchallenged, then the jury might take them at their word, which can significantly jeopardize your case. So, look for ways to discredit these witnesses, such as by showing that they’ve made inconsistent statements in the past or that they’re motivated to testify against you.
  • Remembering the comparative aspect of comparative negligence: Even if you did contribute to the accident in some way, remember that the jury and the court’s determination is going to be comparative in nature. So, even if the defense argues that you played a significant role in the wreck, you might be able to diminish your allocation of fault by showing how much more at fault the other parties were.

Don’t let your truck accident personal injury case be derailed by comparative negligence

The future of your recovery is on the line when you pursue a truck accident personal injury case. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to build the strongest case possible. This includes addressing any comparative negligence arguments that may arise. So, as you ready yourself to enter the legal arena, be sure to implement a strong legal strategy that protects your rights and your interests.