Common Defenses Asserted in Kentucky Car Accident Personal Injury Lawsuits [Part I]

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Our Kentucky Personal Injury Attorneys know that many people involved in motor vehicle collisions are uncertain about the best way to pursue a claim against the other driver.  While most car accident claims will be paid by the insurance provider of the negligent driver and/or other responsible parties, insurance companies work diligently to increase company profits by minimizing the amount of money paid as part of settlements and judgments.  While the precise nature of the defenses and strategies that will be employed by insurance companies depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the particular collision, there are some types of strategies and defenses that are common in Kentucky car accident lawsuits.  In this two-part blog post, we have provided some examples of some of these defenses as well as actions that may be taken to counter such tactics. Contesting Fault & Shifting Blame Liability in Kentucky motor vehicle accidents typically will be based on negligent or reckless driving practices.  In the context of an auto collision, negligence in broad terms constitutes the failure of a driver or other third party to exercise reasonable care to avoid foreseeable injury to others.  The most frequent types of negligent conduct alleged in car accident personal injury lawsuits involves traffic law violations or other forms of hazardous driving.  Insurance companies may dispute the factual circumstances of a collision using accident reconstruction experts, reliance on witness accounts and other evidence to undermine the claim that their insured drove in an unsafe manner. Even when the other driver has committed an illegal driving act like speeding, tailgating, running a stop sign or similar violation, the insurance company for the offending motorist will often attempt to focus financial responsibility on another party which may include the injury victim.  Many car accident claims involve allegations of negligence by multiple parties.  While the plaintiff’s unsafe driving may reduce recovery in accordance with the degree of fault assigned to the injury victim, the plaintiff may still recover a portion of the compensatory damages to which he or she is entitled. This common approach by insurance companies can be countered by seeking prompt legal representation rather than negotiating with an insurance adjuster directly.  Many people injured in auto accidents provide information to the other driver’s insurance carrier which may prove detrimental to their claim.  Generally, this is an extremely risky proposition because the insurance company’s objective is to develop partial or complete defenses to the claim.  A Kentucky personal injury attorney who handles many motor vehicle accident claims will be familiar with the types of statements and evidence that might compromise your claim for compensation. Procedural and Timing Requirements The law has strict procedural requirements regarding the form and substance of pleading filed with the court, responses to discovery requests, rules of civil procedure and evidentiary standards.  Without legal guidance, it is easy to lose one’s way when navigating these legal requirements, which can result in sanctions, adverse rulings and other outcomes that can compromise your legal claim depending on the circumstances. The importance of timing requirements and filing deadlines when pursuing a legal claim cannot be overstated.  The statute of limitations, for example, specifies the deadline for filing a complaint to initiate a lawsuit.  If an injury victim fails to comply with the statute of limitations, the injury victim’s legal claim for financial compensation generally will be permanently forfeited.  Since there is no exception made based on the merits of the legal claim, it is imperative not to miss this deadline so prompt legal advice is essential following a car crash. If you or your loved ones have been injured in a Louisville car crash, our experienced Louisville auto accident attorneys at the Bruce Law Group can answer your questions and explain your rights.  We offer a free consultation so call us today at (502) 489-8887 or contact us via email.