Vehicle accidents occur with regularity throughout the state of Arizona. In the aftermath of a vehicle accident, law enforcement officials and insurance carriers will conduct an investigation in order to determine fault. However, just because one more driver may be found at fault does not mean that they (or their insurance carriers) will not try to defend themselves against the claim and try to pass liability onto another party involved. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common defenses used in the aftermath of an accident in Arizona.
Disputing Liability Altogether
Perhaps the most common defense of a vehicle accident is the defendant and their insurance carrier claiming that the defendant did not cause the crash at all. In general, we will find that thorough investigations will be conducted into vehicle accident claims. This will include investigations by law enforcement officials, insurance carriers, and legal teams. If one individual gets blamed for a vehicle accident, they could try to dispute the liability in order to get out of paying any compensation at all.
Putting Partial Blame on Another Party
What is more likely to happen when there is a dispute on fault is that more than one party will share liability. Georgia operates under what is called a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that individuals who are partially responsible for a crash can still recover compensation, though the total amount of payment they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. This means that the more liability an at-fault party can place on someone else involved in the crash, the less they will have to pay in compensation.
However, any individual found to be 50% or more at fault for a vehicle accident in Georgia will not be able to recover compensation for their losses.
Alleging the Plaintiff Failed to Seek Medical Care
In the aftermath of a vehicle accident, it is incredibly important for all parties involved to seek medical care. If an injury victim files a claim with an at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, but fails to seek immediate medical care or follow up with appropriate medical visits, the defendant in the case could claim that the injury victim was not really harmed in the incident.
HOW WOULD THIS WORK?
Well, a defendant and their insurance carrier could argue that an individual contributed to their injuries by failing to mitigate them by seeking professional care soon after the crash occurred. Failing to follow a doctor’s treatment plan until reaching maximum medical improvement could be a reason for a court to dismiss the case.
Statute of Limitations Issues
In the state of Georgia, there is a limitation to the amount of time crash victims have to file lawsuits against alleged negligent drivers. The Georgia personal injury statute of limitation is two years from the date an injury occurs. Failing to file a lawsuit within this time frame will result in the victim being unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
However, it is important to point out that insurance carriers have their own reporting deadlines for these cases. If an insurance claim is not made within a day or two after the accident occurs, this could cause a significant delay or even a denial of the claim.