Understanding Affirmative Defenses in a Florida Personal Injury Case

Court trials are not an easy process. They not only take a lot of time but also require a lot of finances and other efforts as well from both the parties that are involved in the process. So for this particular reason, individuals are apprehensive about taking their Florida personal injury case to the court of law and in this way, most of the legal cases and proceedings do not reach the courts in Florida and pretty much everywhere else as well. However, in a situation in which a case or claim does reach the court, both the parties involved should be well aware and ready.

If you are suing someone in a personal injury case, you need to be aware of what affirmative defenses the other party might use. Affirmative defenses are among the most essential tactics the other party’s lawyer has in their toolkit. It’s essential to have a skilled attorney on your side who can defeat those arguments.

Affirmative Defenses:

When a plaintiff files a complaint against the party in defense, the plaintiff needs to articulate and prove that the other party was at fault and caused the incident to occur which led to his/her damage and injuries. In such a case the party in defense has the option of responding with a denying statement or using a particular affirmative defense to lessen or remove responsibility entirely from their shoulders.

How Affirmative Defenses Work in a Florida Personal Injury Case:

Criminal cases and civil trials are two different processes and have entirely different ways in which they proceed. The main and most important difference to be noted is which party or who carries the evidence and proof against the party at fault, which is a huge burden.  To prosecute a defendant in a criminal proceeding, the prosecutors must come up with evidence and proof that is beyond a possible suspicion.

However, the case is different when it comes to civil proceedings. The burden of proof in civil proceedings is significantly lower. The complainant just has to establish that the accused is guilty and at fault by a preponderance of the evidence. The case and its decision goes in favor of the plaintiff if he/she can prove to the judge that his/her allegation against the party in defense is true. In that case, the burden of evidence is fulfilled.

In the case of affirmative defense, the burden of evidence is on the party that is in defense. If the party accused and in defense has some solid evidence and proof which they can show in the proceedings in their defense, it can be of great help in reducing the amount and charges which they have to pay to the other party.

The defendant might be able to eliminate responsibility in some situations as well. When a plaintiff makes a claim of responsibility or liability in a Florida personal injury case against someone, he/she needs to be aware of what affirmative defenses the other side could use.

Different Types of Affirmative Defenses

Several possible affirmative defenses are mentioned in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures that can be asserted in civil proceedings in Florida. They are as follows:

  • Contributory Negligence: The judge can decrease the amount of compensation of the plaintiff by the percentage of fault he/she had in the incident.
  • Statute of Limitations: A claim has to be filed within a specified time. If that time is passed, it’s an affirmative defense.
  • Res Judicata: A complaint cannot be filed for the same claim twice.
  • Assumption of Risk: If the plaintiff does something that has a risk of damage and injury associated with it knowingly, it’s an affirmative defense.

Have Questions About Affirmative Defenses? Contact Us:

Legal processes and proceedings are never easy as they are complex processes that drain you mentally and financially as well. For this particular reason, understanding what affirmative defenses you could be up against may aid your Florida personal injury case. Having a proper understanding will be a key differentiator as it will determine your success or loss in the case.

For this reason, having an experienced and professional personal injury lawyer from Florida Lawyers 360 will benefit you a lot during the case and is the best decision to make before entering the process of legal proceedings. Give us a call if you or anyone from your family was harmed by someone’s negligence and is thinking of filing a lawsuit. To book a free-of-cost case review, call (954) 448-7355 or fill out our online contact form to get a free consultation.

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