Sometimes, complex accidents are caused by more than one party. Whether you suffered a car accident, a slip and fall, or a workplace injury, no two accident scenarios are the same, and sometimes there are many different circumstances that cause an injury to occur. Maybe you were injured in a store within the mall. Who’s responsible, the retail store owner or the mall itself? In some cases, both. Maybe you suffered a car accident that was caused by two or three different cars. Can all of these parties be held accountable for the economic damages you suffered after your injury?
The short answer is yes. There are so many factors that determine the liability of the negligent party after an accident. But thanks to evidence, surveillance, and eyewitness testimonies, it can be a straightforward process to demonstrate the negligence of multiple parties and hold them accountable for your injuries in court. But you will likely need help in doing so.
You have no obligation to hire a lawyer after getting injured, but if you choose to work without one, you may be at a disadvantage. Only a lawyer with extensive knowledge of California state and federal law can help you form a lawsuit that holds multiple parties accountable. Without their help, you run the risk of missing out on compensation that you rightfully deserve.
What Happens If More Than One Person Caused My Accident?
In the state of California, an obligation imposed upon several persons, or a right created in favor of several persons, is referred to as joint liability. This doctrine of joint liability means that an injured person has every right, under state law, to pursue economic and non-economic damages against more than one defendant who they believe directly caused their accident and subsequent injury.
For example, let’s say you were injured within a retail store of a shopping mall. Perhaps there was a puddle of water on the floor and you fell. If you suffered a slip and fall in the retail store, you can likely hold that specific store accountable for failing to put out a wet floor sign, alerting you that a hazard was nearby. But, in many cases, shopping malls are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the retail stores inside of them. If the cause of the puddle on the floor is a result of a hole in the roof that the shopping mall has negligently failed to repair, this constitutes liability on the shopping mall’s behalf as well. A property owner’s duties require them to abide by certain standards and regulations to keep you safe, so this personal injury claim will include both the shopping mall and retail store at once.
In a personal injury case such as this, your lawyer will determine which party holds which percentage of fault. Each negligent party will then be responsible for paying economic damages as they relate to their portion of the fault. For example, if the shopping mall is determined to be 70% at fault in your slip and fall injury case, they will be responsible for paying 70% of the damages. It is crucial to talk to a premises liability accident attorney right away so your rights against an owner or occupier can be protected. Without the help of a lawyer, you may not receive the full sum of compensation for which you are eligible.
What Kind Of Damages Can I Be Awarded After An Injury?
Generally speaking, personal injury cases seek to compensate victims for their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include expenses that were accrued as a direct result of the accident, such as medical bills, prescription medication, the cost of surgery, and other related debt. Future medical costs are also factored into economic damages for those who suffer injuries that require long-term care or rehabilitative treatment. Economic damages also cover lost wages, as those who suffer injuries often have to stay home from work to heal. If your property or belongings were also damaged during the accident, this fits under the umbrella of economic damages.
Economic damages can even be calculated into the near future. If you’ll lose money in the future due to your injuries, you should be compensated for this hardship. If you are injured to an extent where your future earning capacity is now diminished, you can be compensated for this as well. When accident victims become disabled or permanently injured due to someone else’s negligence, they deserve to be awarded a settlement for this hardship as well. Your lawyer will help you calculate the extent of the economic damage you’ve accrued due to your injury and fight for this to be included in your settlement.
Non-economic damages are not to be overlooked in any accident case scenario. This often includes pain and suffering damages. Suffering post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression after an injury can greatly impact someone’s life, and victims deserve compensation to make up for these losses. Loss of consortium damages can be awarded to those who lose their loved ones in a wrongful death after an accident as well.
How Do I Begin The Process Of Holding Multiple People Accountable For My Injury?
The best, most efficient way to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim against more than one party is to contact a lawyer for a consultation. Not all California personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation to those in need. But, At The Accident Network Law Group, we never charge for an initial consultation for injured accident victims. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no fees at all unless we win your case and get you a settlement.
If you’ve been injured after an accident and believe more than one party is at fault, schedule your consultation with The Accident Network Law Group today by calling (951) 291-0976 or sending our team an email at [email protected] We have offices in Costa Mesa and Riverside, and are proud to be a resource for any California accident victim who needs legal guidance after suffering an injury.