Property Damage Defense
What happens if someone sues you for causing property damage to their property? The best defense is always to outline each element of the plaintiff's case, and then ask yourself what proof the plaintiff has on each element, and what proof you can introduce or bring to court to disprove the plaintiff's version. There are a couple of things to consider when preparing your defense for property damage:
- The plaintiff must prove that you did something wrong, and that what you did wrong actually caused harm to the plaintiff.
A good way to defend is to attack the plaintiff's claim that you did cause the damage and be prepared to prove it. Certain states have varying degrees of the extent to which the defendant can be considered to have caused the damage.
Also, you may consider attacking the plaintiff's version of a property damage claim. Take each element and introduce evidence that the damages were not caused by you. Witnesses might help your case. For example, eye witnesses in a car accident case, or even an accident reconstructionist might help to prove the plaintiff's version of the damage did not occur.
- Prove that the damage was also or in large part caused by the plaintiff.
This is form of contributory or comparative negligence. Regardless of the legal terminology, you should attempt to bring proof to the court that the damage was already existing, or that the plaintiff's actions caused the damage to be greater than it would have been otherwise.
Remember that all of this information is general in nature and is not designed to consider every possible set of facts imaginable. This discussion simply reviews the most common areas of concern that are overlooked or misunderstood when bringing lawsuits. For specific issues, do not hesitate to contact Member Services or your plan attorney.