If you've recently been involved in a car crash resulting in injuries or time off work, you may still be struggling to get back to your normal life. Even if the other driver's insurance company has begun settlement negotiations, you may feel any potential settlement is too low to fully compensate you for your medical expenses, pain, and emotional suffering. However, filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a complex process, especially if it's possible there were multiple factors (or individuals) that led to your accident. Read on to learn more about how you'll be able to determine who to sue after being injured in a car wreck.
How can you determine who may be at fault in your accident?
This process can often involve some complex forensics. In some cases, a defect in your vehicle (like a malfunctioning airbag or clogged brake line) can contribute to injuries suffered or even share blame for the accident itself. In other situations, a city, state, or county government could be partially responsible for an accident through failure to repair roadways or trim back hedges.
In addition to a formal police report, you may want to consider hiring an investigator or accident reconstruction team to help fully evaluate all causes of your wreck and preliminarily assign fault.
When should you sue more than one potentially responsible party?
If it's possible that more than one person (or company) was responsible for the events leading up to your accident, there are a few situations in which it can make good strategic or financial sense to sue everyone involved. In some cases, your financial judgment against a specific entity may be limited by that person or business's liability in the matter, which may not extend to all your injuries. .
For example, if another driver was likely negligent in causing the accident, but your injuries were exacerbated by poor automotive design, you may only be able to collect an amount from this driver equivalent to the cost of the less serious injuries you would have suffered if not for the automotive design. If you didn't add the automaker to the lawsuit, you may later be prevented from collecting any additional judgment for the rest of your injuries.
You'll need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate the facts of your case and determine whether it makes more financial and logistical sense to sue only one person or multiple parties.