What Defenses Can Be Used Against Your Personal Injury Claim?

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | November 28, 2015
What Defenses Can Be Used Against Your Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury case is a legal dispute that arises from an accident or event where someone was personally harmed or injury due to the legal responsibility or liability of another person or entity.1 There are several forms of personal injury cases, but some of the common types include car accident claims, medical malpractice, product liability, slip and fall injuries, dog bites, and assaults or other intentional torts.2

Common Personal Injury Defenses

In the course of a personal injury case, the liable or at-fault parties, the defendant in the case often deploy a legal defense as a method to avoiding liability or lessening the liability.3 There are several common defenses used in a personal injury cases, but two of the typical defenses include assumption of risk and comparative negligence.

Assumption of Risk

The affirmative defense known as assumption of the risk arises mainly in negligence cases where the defendant claims that the accident or situation was inherently dangerous or so obviously dangerous that the injured party knew the risk, but proceeded with his or her course of action anyway.4 In order for this defense to minimize or bar recovery for the plaintiff, then he or she must have had actual, subjective knowledge of the risk and have voluntarily accepted the risk prior to becoming an injured party.5 An example of a case in which the doctrine of assumption of risk might arise would include when a plaintiff walks of a grocery store floor despite the warnings that the floor is wet or a person with lower back issues rides a roller-coaster despite the warning that those with back or neck problems should not ride.

Comparative Negligence

The second form of common defense in a personal injury case is known as non-absolute contributory negligence or comparative negligence.6 This doctrine is based on reducing a plaintiffs recovery by the percentage of fault that the plaintiff possess for causing the injury or accident.7 Missouri follows a policy of pure comparative negligence which allows recovery even if the plaintiff was at fault for 99 percent of the accident the remaining 1 percent can be recovered since the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for any percentage of liability held by the defendant.8

Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you have been involved in an accident or event that resulted in an injury, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your accident with our personal injury lawyers who can help to protect your legal rights and interests to compensation. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.


  1. http://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/personal-injury-law-the-basics.html
  2. http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/kinds-of-cases.html
  3. http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/defenses-against-your-claim.html
  4. http://www.nolo.com/dictionary/assumption-of-risk-term.html
  5. http://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/defenses-to-negligence-claims.html

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

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