Understanding How Affirmative Defenses Work in Florida Civil SuitsTampa Bay Legal News
Not dissimilar from the rest of the country, the majority of legal affairs in Florida don’t ever make it to trial. Litigation eats up a substantial amount of money, time, and additional resources from both sides, and most people understandably get very nervous at the thought of having to appear before a judge in a court of law.
In the event that a dispute actually reaches the trial stage, both parties have to be prepared. This is particularly true for respondents, many of whom stand to lose the shirt off their back if the court decides to favor the plaintiff.
One essential tool that an attorney has available to them is what is known as an affirmative defense. Listed below is some information explaining affirmative defenses in Florida and exactly how they work.
What Is an Affirmative Defense?
When a claimant brings a lawsuit against another person, they have to articulate why they believe the person they are suing is responsible for the damages they sustained during the incident in question.
The defendant can then respond to the accusation with either a blanket denial or they can also opt to cite a specific affirmative defense in order to lessen or fully eliminate their liability.
How Does an Affirmative Defense Work?
Civil cases vary from criminal proceedings in multiple ways with one of the most notable differences being who shoulders the burden of proof. During criminal proceedings, the burden of proof falls to the prosecutor who must establish fault beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction.
During a civil case, however, the burden of proof is far lighter. All a plaintiff has to do is demonstrate that the preponderance of the evidence shows that the defendant is at fault. In other words, if a jury feels that the plaintiff’s claim is more true than untrue, then the burden of proof has been met.
When using an affirmative defense, the burden of proof rests on the defendant, who is required to state exactly which defense pertains to their case and then present evidence that corroborates this claim. If the defendant is able to successfully establish an affirmative defense during litigation, it will most likely reduce the damages for which they are found liable. In certain instances, they might be able to negate liability entirely.
As with every kind of personal injury case, the endless number of variables makes your claim unique. Someone with a case that sounds very similar to yours could end up with a very different outcome than what you should expect. This is just one of the many reasons why hiring a skilled attorney is beneficial to your Florida personal injury claim.
Your attorney will know the most thorough and efficient way of collecting vital evidence that proves you were not at fault for the accident. Establishing this fact is essential to the success of your Tampa personal injury case.
If you have sustained injuries during any kind of accident that was caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness, there is evidence out there that will substantiate your claim. A reputable personal injury attorney from Fulgencio Law will be able to help you. Call us at (813) 463-0123 to schedule your free Tampa personal injury consultation today.