Common Defenses in Car Accident Cases

After a car crash, you may have the evidence that indicates the other driver's responsibility is clear cut, and assume that settling your claim for injury compensation will go smoothly.

Unfortunately, this may not be the case. The other motorist’s insurance company may raise these common defenses to reduce or deny your claim.

5 Typical Defenses Insurance Companies Use

Comparative Negligence

Both Kansas and Missouri have comparative negligence laws that reduce the amount of compensation you should receive if you're found partially to blame for a crash. In Missouri, your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of fault.

In Kansas, the law requires this reduction, as well as barring you from receiving any amount if you're found at least 50 percent negligent.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time period you have to file a car accident lawsuit. If you fail to file your complaint by this deadline, the insurance company will raise this as a defense, and the judge will most likely dismiss your case. Here are the time limits you must follow:

  • Missouri: You must file a lawsuit within five years of the date of your collision for personal injuries, and three years from the date of a family member's death if his injuries caused his loss of life.
  • Kansas: You only have two years of the date of your crash to file a lawsuit for personal injuries, and two years from the date of a loved one’s death to file a wrongful death action.

Another Driver

If more than one motorist was involved in your auto accident, the negligent driver may try to claim that another party was partially or completely at fault.

If you're in this situation, it's important to file a claim with all potentially-responsible parties to protect your right to injury compensation.

Mitigation of Damages

Under Kansas and Missouri laws, car accident victims have a duty to mitigate, or reduce, their damages. If you failed to seek medical treatment promptly, or didn't follow your physician’s advice, the insurance company could argue that your injuries worsened because of these actions.

Another way they may use this defense is to claim you received unnecessary or overly-expensive medical treatments, and they shouldn't have to reimburse you for them.

Pre-Existing Injuries

If you had a prior injury to the same body part in the past, the insurance company may claim that your current condition is because of it and not caused by the accident.

However, the fact that you suffered a previous injury doesn't prevent you from receiving compensation from the negligent driver, so long as you can show the causal connection of your injuries to your collision.

Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?

If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816-471-5111 to schedule your free consultation.

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