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How do you handle negligence claims?

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Quick Answer

A defendant handles a negligence claim by presenting evidence that he exercised reasonable care, did not cause the plaintiff's damages, or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff, FindLaw notes. His defense sometimes incorporates the doctrines of comparative negligence, assumption of risk, or contributory negligence, depending upon how the plaintiff contributed to his injury.

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Full Answer

The doctrine of contributory negligence is one of the most common defenses that defendants use in a negligence claim. To meet its criteria, the defendant must prove that the plaintiff's own negligent actions led to his injury, FindLaw says. An example of this is when a worker fails to use safety equipment and comes to harm because of it.

The doctrine of comparative negligence reduces any award to the plaintiff by a percentage based on the degree of the plaintiff's fault, FindLaw explains. Depending on the laws in place where injury occurs, this doctrine weighs the plaintiff's actions against the defendant's and denies full awards on a sliding scale according to the degree of fault in the plaintiff's actions.

The assumption of risk doctrine is when the plaintiff involves himself in an activity that he knows to be dangerous but still chooses to participate, FindLaw notes.

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