If you’re filing a suit for personal injury in Tampa, it’s important that you understand the arguments a defendant may make. Generally, defendants begin by disputing their negligence and saying they didn’t cause the injury in question. They may also use an affirmative defense to mitigate liability or disallow the claim entirely. Read on to learn about the affirmative defenses used in personal injury cases in Florida.
Assumption of Risk
Under this legal doctrine, the defendant’s liability is limited when the plaintiff was aware of the risks of an activity. When a plaintiff assumes the risks associated with a particular behavior, they can’t blame someone else for their injuries. An injury sustained while playing a contact sport, such as hockey, is a common example. If you make certain purchases, such as baseball tickets, which grant you admission to a game where you could be hit by a foul ball, that’s an assumption of risk.
Florida uses the standard of pure comparative negligence, which means that your financial recovery will be limited according to your share of negligence. If you’re injured in an auto accident for which you’re 40% responsible, your award will be reduced by that amount. The judge and jury will assess both parties’ share of responsibility before assigning damages.
Statute of Limitations
arbitration clauseUnder state law, injured plaintiffs have a certain length of time to file a claim for personal injury in Tampa. Typically, you’ll have four years from the accident date to file. As with other rules, there are exceptions and special circumstances to consider. Consult an attorney as soon as possible to ensure a timely filing.
Arbitration and Award
Some claims are governed by contracts. If a contract has an arbitration clause, the defendant may raise it as an affirmative defense, mitigating or eliminating your claim.
These are a few of the defenses the other party may raise in a personal injury case. Every claim is different, and your case’s facts will determine which defenses apply. An injury attorney can help you understand what to expect with your case.