Sustaining an injury in a serious accident can lead to bills for medical treatment, time away from work, and even the possibility of a long-term disability, if the injury was severe enough. The problem is not a rare one, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 41 million people visited the emergency room in 2010 alone as a result of injuries.
Because these injuries can result in a variety of expenses and other damages, the law provides that injured parties can file personal injury lawsuits against the parties liable for the accident. Learn how to identify a liable party and some difficulties you may encounter in establishing liability for damages.
How to Identify the Party Liable in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In a personal injury lawsuit, the liable party is simply the party that was responsible for causing the accident that led to the injury. In some cases, this is fairly straightforward. Take, for example, a pedestrian accident wherein a car runs a red light and strikes a pedestrian in the crosswalk. In this case, the liable party is the driver of the car, as long as the pedestrian crossed the street lawfully.
It is not always this easy, however, to identify the party liable for an accident. If, for example, a driver is involved in a car accident from a defective part in his or her car, the driver could initiate a personal injury lawsuit against any of the following.
- Car manufacturer
Or, in the event of a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, the tenant or owner of the property could be liable, depending on the circumstances. Because the process of identifying the liable party is not always clear, it is in your best interests to review your accident with a lawyer if you suffered serious injuries and damages.
But what if I was partially liable for the accident? Can I still recover compensation?
Oftentimes, a party injured in an accident may be partially at fault for the accident. To illustrate this, imagine a driver who is texting while driving. As the driver looks down, he is struck by a car in the adjacent lane. If the car in the adjacent lane is mostly responsible for the accident – such as because he failed to check for other vehicles before changing lanes – then the driver who was texting might still recover damages.
Under Ohio law, however, the amount the first driver can recover will be reduced by his percentage of fault. So, in our case above, if a judge or jury determines that the driver’s texting was 20 percent responsible for the accident, then he may only recover the remaining 80 percent of his damages.
If the injured party is more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, then he or she is barred from recovering anything at all.
Can multiple parties be liable?
Of course, if more than one party was responsible for the injuries, then the injured party may wish to initiate a lawsuit against all possible defendants. Doing so can help ensure that the injured party receives all compensation necessary to recover costs and losses associated with the accident.
In reality though, choosing the right (or multiple) defendants and proceeding through a personal injury lawsuit can be a challenging endeavor, and is best attempted with the help of a personal injury attorney. The legal professionals at Bressman Law in Dublin can help you hold the responsible party liable for the damages you incurred. Don’t hesitate to call us today for help at 877-538-1116.