What to Know About Multi-Party Lawsuits Resulting from an Accident
If you are are in a car accident, it can be a traumatic experience for all parties involved. The accident can result in extensive damage, pain and suffering, and thousands of dollars in health care costs. This can lead to several lawsuits between the different parties. If you were in an accident, make sure you hire a qualified attorney who can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Thousands of people each year are victims of car and truck accidents throughout the country. For the most part, accidents that include a truck can be more tragic because of the sheer size of the vehicle. For example, an accident involving a big rig or a tractor-trailer can cause extensive damage even if both parties are not moving fast. Many commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds whereas automobiles usually average about 3,000 pounds. In many cases, the accidents that occur between a car and a big truck are usually due to errors surrounding:
- The inability to brake in time: Since trucks weigh more, they require a longer response time.
- Large blind spots: Trucks tend to have a larger blind spot than cars.
- Acceleration: Since trucks are heavy, they require a longer time to accelerate.
- Other road conditions: Weather, visibility, and other conditions can increase the likelihood of an accident with a truck.
When an accident occurs with a truck, it’s not unusual for the truck to lose control and hit more than one vehicle before it comes to a stop. So, if you are involved in a multi-car accident with a truck, what should you do first?
Go to the Doctor
If you are seriously injured, or suspect you may have been hurt in the accident, then your first step should be to visit the emergency room. Ask the doctor to give you a full physical exam. Make sure to retain all medical treatment records and receipts because you may have to share them with an insurance company, attorney, or judge.
Gather all Accident Reports
Make sure to obtain the accident report from the police department and any other organization that may have been involved in the aftermath. Your attorney will want to see all documentation so that he or she can figure out a game plan to best defend you based on the evidence.
Establish a Legal Strategy With Your Attorney
After the accident, your attorney will need to hear your side of the story and most likely want to see all of the paperwork associated with the accident. From there, he or she will decide how to proceed. If you were involved in a multi-party accident, a personal injury lawyer Milwaukee WI relies on may decide to sue all of the parties involved. Likewise, the other individuals may decide to sue all of the parties including you. Even if you feel as though you are partially or fully at fault, you should hire an attorney who can represent your best interests.
In many cases, all parties involved will settle the lawsuit outside of court. In others, it may lead to a court proceeding. In many cases, the judge or jury will decide who was at fault based on the evidence.
Sometimes, depending on the situation, the judge will determine a percentage of responsibility for each party. For example, the judge may decide that one party is 40% at fault, and the other is 60% at fault. In many states, the defending parties may be assigned “jointly and severally liability” for a car accident. This means that even though the judge determined that the defendant was only partially at fault, he or she may be liable for the whole amount if the other defendant does not pay. In most states, as long as the victim isn’t more than 50% at fault, then he or she will receive some sort of compensation. This payment is to insure that the injured party is made whole.
A car accident can be a difficult and terrible experience, especially if multiple parties were involved. In many cases, the insurance company may not protect your best interests and therefore you will need to find a good attorney who will. If you are involved in a multi-vehicle accident, then proper representation is needed in order to get the compensation that you deserve.
Thanks to our friend and contributors from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into personal injury practice.