If someone files a personal injury lawsuit against your company seeking damages for an alleged injury, you have defenses available.
FindLaw explains that a personal injury lawsuit can arise from numerous alleged occurrences, including the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Invasion of privacy
- Wrongful death
If successful in his or her claim, the plaintiff could obtain a judgment against your company for millions of dollars. That is why you need to mount a vigorous defense.
Statute of limitations
Perhaps your strongest defense is that the plaintiff failed to file his or her lawsuit within the time prescribed by the statute of limitation. In New York, this period is three years from the date of the alleged injury. If the plaintiff filed the lawsuit even one day late, the judge likely will dismiss it.
Another good defense, if appropriate, is that the plaintiff signed a release prior to filing the lawsuit. If he of she did, its language could relieve your company from partial or all liability.
Assumption of risk
You need to carefully investigate and analyze the plaintiff’s claim to determine if he or she became injured as a result of engaging in risky or dangerous behavior. If you can establish that he or she knew the risks involved and proceeded anyhow, you likely can prevent judgment in his or her favor.
New York is a comparative negligence state, meaning that the jury can assign responsibility, and therefore liability, for the occurrence to both parties. If you can establish that the plaintiff contributed to his or her own injury by a certain percentage, your company will not have to pay for that percentage.