What are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Defense?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 July 2019
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There are numerous types of personal injuries for which individuals may attempt to hold others liable. The defenses used by the accused will depend on the type of cases they face. For a dog bite case, a person may defend himself by proving that the injured person provoked the animal. In a medical malpractice case, it may be shown that a person’s injury was caused by a preexisting condition. People accused of battery often defend themselves by arguing that they acted in self defense.

Thousands of cases per day can arise from automobile accidents. A common personal injury defense used by those accused of being at fault is contributory negligence. This means that the injured party acted in a manner that contributed to her injury. In many jurisdictions if this can be successfully proved, a person can escape liability for the harm caused.

A common personal injury defense in dog bite cases is provocation. In some jurisdictions, a dog owner is not held liable when a person suffers an injury because he taunted or otherwise encouraged an animal to act viciously. Failure to acknowledge warnings is another common personal injury defense in these cases. When a person has clearly and legibly indicated that there is an animal to beware of, he may escape liability if a person disregards it.


Medical professionals are common targets of personal injury cases. One of the major elements that must be proved by the accuser is that the accused provided a substandard level of care. Medical professionals who are facing such allegations can often defend themselves by successfully arguing that peer professionals would have acted in the same manner. It is also important for the injured party to show a clear connection between the harm she suffered and the actions of the accused medical professional. In many instances, such attempts can be thwarted by showing that the injured party had a preexisting condition that caused the harm that she experienced.

Personal injury cases often arise from incidents in the workplace. A common personal injury defense in such instances is proving that an injury occurred elsewhere. Although an incident may have taken place, it must be shown that the alleged harm resulted on that particular occasion while at work. In many cases, the accuser is unable to prove this.

Many people are unaware that a number of criminal actions can also result in civil lawsuits. Examples include battery and domestic violence. One personal injury defense used in such cases is a claim of innocence. Since these are incidents that often lack witnesses, many people successfully convince the presiding judges that the accuser is making up stories. Another common defense used in such cases is self-defense.



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