The Know-How on Using the Empty Chair Defense in Cases

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Accidents are common even in instances where people take as much precaution as possible to prevent them. If you have been the victim of an injury because someone failed to uphold their part in ensuring your safety, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. While you might have what you assume is a watertight case, this does not mean that your compensation is assured. Defendants in personal injury cases have several alternatives that might get them off the hook and leave you with nothing.

A common defense a personal injury lawyer from Utah might expect in your claim is the empty chair defense. Without the right strategies by your lawyer, a defendant will walk free with nothing more than a fine and a warning. The following is information to help you understand what the empty chair defense entails so that you are prepared for what to expect.

What Is the Empty Chair Defense?

The empty chair defense aims to shift blame to someone who is not in court. When a defendant uses this defense, they want to prove to the jury that they are not responsible for your accident and that a third party not in court is to blame for your losses. There is no literal unoccupied chair in the courtroom in this case. Instead, the person that the defendant wants to be held responsible for your accident is not there to defendAccidents are common even in instances where people take as much precaution as possible to prevent them. If you have been the victim of an injury because someone failed to uphold their part in ensuring your safety, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. While you might have what you assume is a watertight case, this does not mean that your compensation is assured. Defendants in personal injury cases have several alternatives that might get them off the hook and leave you with nothing.

A common defense a personal injury lawyer from Utah might expect in your claim is the empty chair defense. Without the right strategies by your lawyer, a defendant will walk free with nothing more than a fine and a warning. The following is information to help you understand what the empty chair defense entails so that you are prepared for what to expect.

What Is the Empty Chair Defense?

The empty chair defense aims to shift blame to someone who is not in court. When a defendant uses this defense, they want to prove to the jury that they are not responsible for your accident and that a third party not in court is to blame for your losses. There is no literal unoccupied chair in the courtroom in this case. Instead, the person that the defendant wants to be held responsible for your accident is not there to defend themselves.

It Is All or Nothing

In the empty chair defense, it is all or nothing. This means that a defendant cannot say that they are only partly to blame in an accident and that the third party not present in court should bear some percentage of the blame. The defendant is either fully responsible or innocent. That is unlike in other personal injury cases that allow a defendant to share the blame with another party or a plaintiff. In this case, they often pay compensation for the percentage of their responsibility.

How Might this Defense Happen?

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This defense might occur if several parties are culpable for your injury, but you choose not to name all of them in your suit. In other cases, one of the parties at fault in your accident settles the lawsuit out of court before trial. In this instance, you are not permitted to name the party that has settled. You should not state the amount you have been paid as compensation as well. The defendant in court might thus shift blame to the party that has settled.

Strategies of Fighting Back the Defense

Your attorney might recommend naming every party that might be held responsible for your injury. This way, a defendant is out of options for a party to shift blame for their empty chair defense. The attorney will also look for watertight evidence that a defendant is also responsible for an injury. That can be done even when you settle with another party beforehand.

These pieces of information have hopefully helped you understand what the empty chair defense entails. It thus should not scare you into withdrawing your lawsuit. Furthermore, some states do not accept this defense for their injury cases. themselves.

It Is All or Nothing

In the empty chair defense, it is all or nothing. This means that a defendant cannot say that they are only partly to blame in an accident and that the third party not present in court should bear some percentage of the blame. The defendant is either fully responsible or innocent. That is unlike in other personal injury cases that allow a defendant to share the blame with another party or a plaintiff. In this case, they often pay compensation for the percentage of their responsibility.

How Might this Defense Happen?

talking to lawyer

This defense might occur if several parties are culpable for your injury, but you choose not to name all of them in your suit. In other cases, one of the parties at fault in your accident settles the lawsuit out of court before trial. In this instance, you are not permitted to name the party that has settled. You should not state the amount you have been paid as compensation as well. The defendant in court might thus shift blame to the party that has settled.

Strategies of Fighting Back the Defense

Your attorney might recommend naming every party that might be held responsible for your injury. This way, a defendant is out of options for a party to shift blame for their empty chair defense. The attorney will also look for watertight evidence that a defendant is also responsible for an injury. That can be done even when you settle with another party beforehand.

These pieces of information have hopefully helped you understand what the empty chair defense entails. It thus should not scare you into withdrawing your lawsuit. Furthermore, some states do not accept this defense for their injury cases.

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