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How to avoid fault being placed on you for your accident

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Injuries

Previously on the blog we gave a brief overview of Kentucky’s comparative negligence law. This statute requires a plaintiff’s award to be reduced by the percentage of fault that is assigned to them based on the facts presented at trial.

Although a comparative negligence finding may not block you from recovering compensation, it can significantly reduce what you end up walking away with. In turn, a comparative negligence finding can stymie your recovery and leave you without the resources you need to get by while you focus on your recovery.

So, how can you protect your interests as fully as possible in your personal injury case? You have to know how to defend yourself against comparative negligence arguments, that’s for sure. But how do you go about doing that? Let’s take a look.

Tips for defending against comparative negligence arguments

When you’re the victim in a car accident, you probably expect to go on the offensive when you bring forth a legal action. Yet, when comparative negligence is in play, you have to be prepared to play a little bit of defense. Here are some strategies that you can implement to try to protect yourself from a comparative fault finding:

  • Utilize expert testimony: When you and the defendant are arguing different methods of causation, then you’ll want some testimony on your side that carries greater weight with the jury. An expert in accident reconstruction may be especially helpful here, since they’ll based their opinion as to the accident’s cause on firm scientific principles.
  • Put your actions in context: The defense is going to try to take your mistakes and extrapolate them into something bigger than what they are. Try to present your evidence in a way that minimizes how your actions contributed to the wreck in question.
  • Attack witness reliability: To prove their comparative fault argument, the defense is going to present witness testimony that speaks to the accident and your actions. If you let all of this testimony come into evidence without attacking it, then the judge or jury will be free to take it for what it purports to be. But if you can attack the witnesses’ credibility, then you might be able to weaken the power of that evidence. This, in turn, will reduce the likelihood that you’ll be found to have been comparatively negligent.
  • Focus on the ratio of fault: If it’s going to be too difficult to avoid showing that you were somewhat to blame for the wreck, then you might need to shift your focus to the ratio of fault involved. The less fault that’s assigned to you, the less compensation you’ll lose out on. Again, an expert might be able to help you show to what extent your actions actually contributed to the accident. Just be prepared to counter any expert testimony offered by the defense.

Aggressively advocate for what you deserve

Even if you feel like you were partially to blame for your accident, you should still consider legal action against the party who caused you harm. But to protect your recovery as much as possible, you have to know the law and be prepared to address challenging legal arguments.

While the thought of building a legal case might have you on edge, don’t worry. You can find support to guide you throughout the process while ensuring that your position is advocated for as aggressively as possible. Hopefully then you can achieve peace of mind knowing that you’ve done everything possible to protect your future.