How will the other side try to prevent me from recovering damages?

Make no mistake, personal injury cases are fights between two sides trying to prove opposite conclusions. The system is adversarial. Your attorneys are going to do their very best to fight for you and prove you should recover for the defendant’s negligence. The lawyers on the other side are going to aggressively defend against your claim. The defenses and strategies below may seem intimidating, but part of the job your attorney takes on will be to deal with and defeat the tactics and defenses raised by the defendant.

The defense attorneys will fight hard to defeat your claims in a number of ways. The defense will normally look to present evidence that:

  • You were suffering from pre-existing injuries of the type you now complain
  • If the defendant was negligent and caused your injuries, you are exaggerating your injuries and are not suffering to the extent that you claim
  • Your injuries were caused by something or someone other than the defendant’s negligence
  • You were partly responsible for the incident which caused your injuries
  • You made conflicting statements during the case about how the accident happened or the extent of your injuries and thus you cannot be trusted or believed
  • You have a history of making false statements at other times and thus you cannot be trusted or believed as a witness
  • You have done things in your life that make you an unsympathetic person (you have a criminal record or a history of acting irresponsibly)
  • The insurance companies will try to make the defendant appear as human and sympathetic as possible and will try to portray you as “playing” the system and seeking a financial windfall

Georgia recognizes that the legal defenses of contributory negligence and assumption of the risk apply in personal injury cases. In terms of legal and factual defenses, defendants often raise the following:

  • Defendant was not negligent
  • Pre-existing medical condition
  • No Causation
  • No vicarious liability of others’ acts
  • Improper or inadequate expert opinions
  • Contributory negligence or comparative negligence
  • Assumption of the risk
  • Statute of limitations expired
  • Immunity statutes
  • Release and satisfaction
  • Independent intervening and superseding cause

Your attorney will do his or her best to anticipate which defenses the responsible party will try to offer and develop during the case. Your full and complete cooperation will be necessary to help counsel prepare your case and position it for the best possible outcome.