Can I Sue Multiple Parties for the Same Accident or Injuries?
You are waiting to cross a busy intersection of two main roads in South Florida in the middle of rush hour after a long day at work. After waiting for what seems like forever, you realize the pedestrian signal simply does not work after several cycles of the traffic lights go by. Whether the signal is burnt out or simply malfunctioning, you have no clue, but you need to get home to your family either way. Therefore, you carefully wait for the traffic to clear and, spying a break in traffic, you run across the road and have just about made it across to the other side when a car comes out of nowhere, speeds up to make the light, not seeing you and then plows into you at a high rate of speed. The next thing you know, you wake up in the hospital with a cervical collar on your neck and casts covering both arms and legs. After eventually getting out of the hospital months later, you contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and the potential claims you may have and who you may have them against given that you suffered horrific injuries and will be out of work for months and will require hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care, none of which you have the money for. Your first question is: who can I sue? You feel like both whoever was responsible for the pedestrian signal as well as the other motorist should both be held responsible for your injuries. But do you have to pick one or the other to pursue compensation for your injuries? The answer is no; you can sue multiple parties in the same lawsuit.
In this example, both the person, company or organization that is responsible for the malfunctioning traffic signal as well as the driver that hit you can be sued in the same lawsuit. There is nothing wrong with doing so and, in many cases, it is the best way to recover maximum compensation for your injuries. The defendants may end up pointing the finger at each other and simply making the situation worse for themselves and better for you as the victim of both of their negligence.
You Can Sue Multiple Parties in the Same Lawsuit
Although it may seem like two completely unrelated issues, both the motorist driving the car that hit you as well as the company that was responsible for the malfunctioning pedestrian signal are responsible in some way for your injuries suffered in your accident. The company that maintained the traffic signals was negligent in failing to maintain the pedestrian traffic signals, while the motorist that hit you was driving at an unreasonable rate of speed and was also negligent in trying to beat the light and putting you and other nearby motorists in danger by driving that fast.
Given that both the motorist that hit you and the pedestrian signal maintenance company played a role in the accident in which you were injured, you would be able to sue multiple parties the same lawsuit. It was all one accident even if multiple different negligent parties were responsible for your injuries. This means that you can bring claims in the same lawsuit against each negligent party that was responsible for your injuries.
If you go to trial against both the defendants, then the jury would apportion fault, or decide how much responsibility each defendant bore, for your injuries. If for some reason you settle with one of the negligent parties before trial but proceed to trial against the other, then the negligent party that chose to go to trial would be entitled to an offset, or a credit, for whatever the amount that you settled with the other negligent part for. A simple example of how this would work would be that, if the jury determined you had suffered $500,000 in damages, but you settled with the company that failed to maintain the traffic signal for $100,000, and they were then found 50% to be responsible, you would be entitled to recover 50% of your damages, or $250,000, from the negligent party that chose to go to trial.
Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley
At Schwed, Adams, & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined practice representing victims of all sorts of motor vehicle accidents, including accidents involving multiple different parties’ negligence. We use our experience in dissecting complicated cases to help you pursue full and fair compensation for your losses after you have been injured against any and all parties that may be responsible for your injuries. Therefore, if you have been injured by someone else’s negligence in Florida, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.