What Should You Expect With a Lawsuit with Multiple Plaintiffs?
When a person causes an injury to you in a car accident, that person needs to take some accountability. However, liability and accountability after a car accident are not always cut and dry. Sometimes after an accident, it is difficult to get a fair settlement from the at fault party. In cases such as these, you may be looking at a lawsuit. Lawsuits are complex enough. But if your accident involved multiple people or entities, your lawsuit may include multiple plaintiffs. What does this mean and what should you expect with a lawsuit with multiple plaintiffs?
Why Might I Need to File a Lawsuit?
The person responsible for the accident should pay you compensation for your losses. These losses may include lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. The amount and the type of compensation will vary. The factors involved are the circumstances of the accident, type and severity of injuries, and more.
Sometimes, the person or entity will not pay you a fair amount for your injuries. If so, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the party that caused the accident. By filing a lawsuit, you are the plaintiff. A lawsuit can include more than one person seeking compensation from the at fault party.
However, some accident cases are more complex than others. In a multi-vehicle accident, there are more people involved than just you and one other driver. In an accident that involves a manufacturer defect or a business, there may be more parties involved. This means that you are facing a lawsuit with multiple plaintiffs and/or multiple defendants.
What is a Multi-Vehicle Accident?
There are many circumstances of accidents that involve several people. For example, on a cold and icy morning, it is possible for someone in another lane to lose control and enter your lane. You may end up pushed out of your lane or into oncoming traffic. Several vehicles could become involved in a chain reaction accident with serious injuries. There could be four or five plaintiffs and several defendants.
Another common cause of multi-vehicle accidents is where more than two vehicles cause a series of rear end collisions. When cars are in a rear-end accident, they will often push each other until there is a pile of cars. This is especially true with highway accidents, when drivers are traveling at high rates of speed.
Determining who is liable in these accidents is complex. Some of these accidents are due to one driver who sets the whole accident into motion. But it can be hard to determine which party was responsible for the chain reaction. The best way to move forward in this situation is to collect information from all parties involved. This means you should obtain the insurance and contact details for each person and wait for law enforcement to arrive.
Accidents that Involve Third Parties
In some car accidents, the liability falls on the employer of the driver or owner of the vehicle. Sometimes an accident is due to a fault in the vehicle, such as defective brakes. You may end up with an instance of both faulty manufacturing and negligent driving. In these instances and others, blame may end up placed on more than one person or entity. When more than one person is to blame, this may result in multiple defendants. This can make getting a settlement very difficult. Companies and government entities will have competent lawyers on their side and you should too. If you are facing a lawsuit with multiple plaintiffs, you will want the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
In a case with multiple plaintiffs and serious injuries, it is wise to get your own personal injury attorney. If you do hire a personal injury attorney, you should disclose to your attorney that there were other parties in the accident. Your attorney may need to coordinate with other attorneys on the case. This will ensure that you are able to get adequate compensation for your injuries. Insurance policies all have policy limits. This means that if many people are seeking compensation, the insurance policy may reach those limits quickly. When multiple people have serious injuries, negotiations may need to take place to ensure that each plaintiff in the lawsuit is fairly compensated.
In many multi-vehicle car accidents, and often in accidents with commercial vehicles, there may be several defendants that you can sue. There are many advantages to sueing more than one person in a personal injury lawsuit. If more than one party is liable for your personal injuries, it will boost the amount of compensation that is available. This can also be helpful if there are multiple plaintiffs. The more money that is available, the more compensation each plaintiff may be able to receive.
The amount that each defendant in the lawsuit will need to pay varies. This will depend upon if the court finds them either jointly or severally liable for your losses.
Jointly liable means that each of the defendants is liable for all damages and losses. This means that the parties found responsible for the accident are collectively liable to repay damages. However, the judge often assigns a portion of repayment to each individual. If one defendant does not pay, the other is still liable.
Severally liable indicates direct liability. It means that every defendant is only responsible for damages that the court states they are directly responsible for. The amount of compensation due is often based on the percentage of fault in the accident.
A complete investigation of the accident determines the parties that are liable for your damages. A good personal injury attorney understands the importance of ensuring you receive as much compensation as possible.
Get Help with Lawsuits with Multiple Plaintiffs
Motor vehicle accidents can lead to some complicated settlements. Even more difficult are lawsuits with multiple plaintiffs and/or several defendants. It takes the work of an experienced personal injury attorney to review the case and determine what actions to take. Depending upon the case, your lawyer can advise you on the best course of action. Your attorney’s goal is to get you the compensation you deserve.
We recommend hiring a personal injury attorney experienced in handling these multi-party lawsuits. Lawsuit Info Center can be a valuable resource for you to find a good attorney in your area. Reach out to us for a free consultation. We can review your case and get you in touch with the right attorney for you.