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Common Defenses in a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuit

The Tactics a Defendant May Use to Deny or Diminish Your Claim

Common Defenses in a New Jersey Personal Injury LawsuitOften, when you’ve been injured because of the carelessness or negligence of another person, your legal claim can seem like an open and shut case. There are, however, a number of defenses that the at-fault party and his/her legal counsel may raise to try to minimize your claim.

Contributory or Comparative Negligence

In essence, this defense argues that you had some liability—that your actions contributed to or caused the accident in some way. Under the old legal concept of contributory negligence, if you were found liable to any degree, you could not recover anything for your losses. New Jersey now follows the “modified comparative negligence” rule, which allows you to recover something unless your liability was greater than 50%.

Your Injuries Were Pre-Existing

This argument contends that the defendant did not cause your injuries—they were sustained in some earlier incident. If you’ve had a similar injury in the past, you can expect defense attorneys to exhaustively review your medical records and look for evidence of other events or factors at or around the time of the accident that can be alleged to have caused your injuries. Be aware that you can recover compensation if the defendant’s negligence aggravated or worsened a pre-existing condition.

You Assumed the Risk of Injury

This defense is customarily raised when you are injured while engaging in an “inherently dangerous” activity. To succeed with such an argument, the defense must typically prove that you had actual knowledge of the risks involved and you voluntarily assumed them.

You Waived Your Right to Recover for Your Losses

If you were required to sign a release form before participating in the activity that caused your injury, the defense may waive that paper in front of the jury. As a general rule, the courts are reluctant to enforce these waivers if they are overbroad or will bring about an unfair result.

Your Claim Was Barred by the Statute of Limitations

In New Jersey, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of your injury or it may be barred. However, the time period may be extended if your injury was not reasonably discoverable.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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