It is true that most personal injury cases involve one plaintiff and one defendant. However, there are times when our Acworth personal injury lawyers have to sue multiple parties in our client’s lawsuit. While these cases may increase your chances of receiving damages, they can be incredibly complicated.
There Are Many Situations in Which You May Need to Sue Multiple Parties
If you’re like most of our clients, you have never needed to sue anybody. If it hadn’t been for your most recent injury, you wouldn’t be considering filing suit now. Unfortunately, if a third party is responsible for your injuries, they need to be held accountable.
When your Acworth injury attorney first meets with you, they’ll ask you to tell them your story of what happened. They’ll take notes and try to determine exactly who you may need to pursue for damages.
If they find that there is more than one potential defendant, they will let you know.
One of the most common situations in which your Acworth personal injury lawyer may have to sue more than one defendant is a multi-car accident. Because car crashes happen so quickly, it can be difficult to determine exactly who caused the accident.
What your Acworth injury attorney will do is review the evidence. They will hire experts to help them figure out who was at fault. Once they have made their determination, they’ll make sure each defendant is named in your initial complaint.
Crash Involving Commercial Driver
Another example of when you may need to sue two people is an accident involving a commercial driver. One of the hardest parts about these truck accidents is figuring out whose insurance carrier you need to file your claim with.
In these cases, your Acworth personal injury lawyer will usually have to name the driver as well as their employer. Since their employer would be held vicariously liable for the driver’s actions, there’s a good chance both parties would be charged in your complaint.
Medical Malpractice Cases
In almost every medical malpractice our Acworth injury attorneys have handled, there were multiple defendants. This is especially true in medical malpractice cases involving surgery.
When you have surgery, there are other people in the room aside from your surgeon. For example, an anesthesiologist will be in the room with you. There will also be a second anesthesiologist on hand in case something happens to the primary anesthesiologist.
There could also be other possible defendants. Imagine a case where a nurse is stealing a patient’s pain medication. You may need to name the nurse, the nursing supervisor, the Director of Nursing, and the administrator as defendants.
Product Liability Cases
Depending on the facts surrounding your product liability case, you may need to sue two or three parties. Take a defective manufacturing case. Had the product been made properly, you probably wouldn’t have been hurt.
In this scenario, your Acworth injury attorney would obviously need to name the manufacturer in your lawsuit. However, they may also need to name the store that sold you the time.
For example, if the store manager knew the product wasn’t made properly, they shouldn’t have put it on the shelf.
Is Your Acworth Injury Attorney Required to Name All Defendants in Your Initial Complaint?
Sometimes, our clients ask us why it is taking longer than they thought for us to file their lawsuit. What they may not realize is that our Acworth personal injury lawyers need to determine all possible defendants before they file suit.
While the law does not specifically say you must name every possible defendant in your initial complaint, it is a best practice. According to OCGA §9-11-20, your Acworth injury attorney is allowed to name more than one defendant in your case.
Can’t You Add a Second Defendant in the Middle of Your Case?
There are times when you have no choice but to ask the judge to let you add a defendant midway through your case. However, this is rarely a good idea. If you wait too long to name a defendant, it can delay the rest of your case.
For example, imagine that you were injured in a car accident. Two different cars crashed into you. You have named the first driver in your complaint. However, the second driver fled the scene, and your Acworth injury attorney could not locate them.
There is a chance that your lawyer will find this second driver a month or two after you filed suit. This seems justified since they were hiding. However, in most instances, it is a bad idea to wait to add a second defendant.
If You Win, Who Pays Your Damages?
If you’re wondering who would pay your damages in a case involving multiple defendants, it’s a good question. It will depend on how the parties were joined in your complaint.
If the two defendants have been found jointly liable, they will both be liable for the full amount of your judgment. You can collect from both defendants until the total balance has been paid.
The interesting thing about joint liability is that, while you can collect from both defendants, you don’t have to. If your Acworth injury attorney learns that one defendant is a millionaire, they will focus their efforts on collecting from them.
It’s In Your Best Interest to Retain a Seasoned Acworth Injury Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in any type of accident, the hardest part can be proving who was at fault. In some cases, there could be multiple people at fault. Some of the cases our Georgia personal injury lawyers handle have two or three defendants.
Having to sue more than one party has its benefits and drawbacks. Obviously, when you have more than one defendant, you’re pursuing the assets of two people, not one. At the same time, cases involving multiple defendants can be very complicated.
This is why our Acworth injury attorneys suggest you call our office as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner your attorney gets involved, the sooner you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Call today and one of our staff can help you schedule your free, initial consultation. You can bet the defendants will have lawyers working for them. You need to have someone in your corner as well.