Can You Sue More Than One Person?
Personal injury claims sometimes require victims to sue more than one person. Car crashes are a perfect example of when it might be necessary to pursue personal injury claims against more than one person. Workplace accidents are another instance when multiple parties may be responsible for your injuries.
When you’re hurt by someone else’s negligence, it’s important to ensure you get the full amount of compensation afforded to you by personal injury law in New Mexico. Filing multiple claims can maximize your damages.
Hiring an experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether more than one person is responsible for your injuries.
How to determine personal injury liability
Whether you are dealing with one party or two, proving personal injury liability by New Mexico personal injury law standards is the same.
To establish liability, your personal injury attorney must prove the responsible parties:
- Owed you a duty to act reasonably.
- Failed in their duty by acting negligently.
- Caused your injuries because of their carelessness.
- Produced damages through their negligence.
Let’s take the case of a car crash, where a manufacturing defect in the vehicle caused the driver to lose control and collide with your vehicle, causing you serious injuries. The at-fault driver admits to police investigating the accident that his car had been acting weird for a few days, but he failed to call a mechanic or the dealership to have it checked. In this case, you could sue the driver plus the car manufacturer if a true defect caused the accident.
Benefits of suing more than one person
The biggest benefit of suing more than one person when you suffer a personal injury is maximizing on your damages. Let’s go back to the example of the car crash with a defective car. That kind of accident could leave you with debilitating spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis. You would be unable to work and may accumulate millions of dollars in medical bills.
Suing all responsible parties for an accident of this magnitude ensures you get enough compensation to cover all your medical bills, plus any ongoing expenses related to a permanent disability.
Joint and severable liability with multiple defendants
Something to keep in mind if you decide to sue more than one person is the joint and severable liability laws in New Mexico. Joint liability means all defendants named in your personal injury claim are equally responsible for your losses. Several liability means the defendants are only responsible for a part of your losses.
Let’s take the car crash example again. You could sue the driver of the vehicle for causing the crash, and the driver could turn around and sue the vehicle manufacturer. When this happens, it’s called joint and several liability by the legal system.
When to sue more than one person
New Mexico law allows you to recover damages from more than one person if you can meet the burden of proof in establishing each party’s liability. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help with determining whether more than one party shares responsibility for your injuries.
Here are some examples of when you might want to sue more than one person to maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.
- Truck crashes. If you are the victim of an accident involving a truck driver, you might be able to sue the truck driver and the trucking company for which he works. An example of when this tactic might be successful would be a trucking company pressuring one of its drivers to cut their required breaks short to make more deliveries. The driver falls asleep at the wheel and crashes into your car.
- Slips-and-falls. Let’s say you slip and fall on an uneven sidewalk while shopping at a local retail outlet. The tenant knew the sidewalk was in ill repair and did not post a warning to shoppers about the hazard. The landlord failed to make the necessary repairs when notified by the tenant of the issue. You might be able to sue both the tenant and the landlord for your injuries since each played a role.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help
Living with temporary or permanent disability can affect your current and future earnings, plus rack up expensive medical bills. You want to make sure all parties responsible for your injuries share in the damages. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you determine who is at fault and how best to pursue personal injury claims against them.
Contact Cameron & Russell for a free case evaluation. They go the extra mile in personal injury cases to ensure you get fair compensation.