There are several defense strategies that a defendant can use in a personal injury case to escape liability. One of the most frequently used strategies is the assumption of risk defense. When can this strategy be used? How will it affect your case? Here’s what you need to know:
What is an Assumption of Risk?
In some personal injury cases, the defendant can argue that the plaintiff is not entitled to compensation because he knowingly exposed himself to a potentially dangerous situation. For example, let’s say a pedestrian is hit by a speeding car as he is jaywalking across the street. The driver of the car could argue that the pedestrian knew there were risks involved with jaywalking, but chose to do so anyways. Therefore, he should not be compensated for his injuries.
How the Assumption of Risk Could Affect A Personal Injury Case
Victims may still be able to recover compensation even if it is proven that they knew of the risks involved in a certain activity. But, the amount of compensation that they are awarded may be reduced due to Colorado’s modified comparative negligence laws.
Take another look at the jaywalking example mentioned above. In this case, the jury may find that both the driver of the vehicle and the victim are partly to blame for the accident. The driver of the vehicle is at fault because he was speeding at the time of the accident. The victim is also to blame because he assumed the risk of being hit by a car when he chose to violate pedestrian traffic laws and jaywalk across the street.
The jury will then need to determine what percentage of fault should be assigned to each party. If the jury assigns 40% of the fault to the victim and 60% to the defendant, the victim’s compensation will be reduced by 40%.
However, if the jury believes that the victim’s assumption of risk makes him more than 50% liable for the accident, he will not be able to recover any compensation for his injuries. Therefore, while it is possible to recover compensation even if you knew of the risks involved in a certain activity, it’s also possible that you will be denied compensation for this reason.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Even if you are partly to blame for the accident, our personal injury attorneys may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.