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Handling Personal Injury Claims with Multiple Defendants

We all want to avoid multi-car pile up accidents, stampedes at concert venues, and other types of catastrophic experiences that result in multiple personal injuries. Unfortunately, these traumatic situations are often out of our control.

When you endure pain and suffering as the result of any of these circumstances, it may be tough to know how to file an insurance claim, or how to seek legal compensation for your losses. 

For example, the driver that rear-ended you on the highway may hold partial liability for your collision. However, if a speeding car crashes into a vehicle far behind you and then sets off a chain reaction, the speeding driver may be found liable for the suffering you’ve incurred. 

Let’s take a look at how liability is determined in a multiple party personal injury claim, what steps you should take, and how a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you.

How to Handle a Multiple Party Personal Injury Claim

What you need to know about multiple-party personal injury claims   

Every year in the US, over 60% of civil legal trials involve personal injury claims. Although researching how to proceed with a personal injury claim is relatively easy, multiple-party claims are far more complicated. 

Multiple-party personal injury claims occur when more than one party is deemed liable for causing injury. This may mean multiple individuals, insurance carriers, and other entities may hold legal responsibility for the injuries you’ve incurred. 

These claims involve complexities such as shared liability, diverse insurance policies, and varied degrees of fault. Awareness of these challenges is essential to set realistic expectations and make informed choices about how to proceed with your claim.

Most common causes of personal injury claims 

Although multiple situations can lead to a just personal injury case, there are common types of accidents that lead to most insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. The most common causes of personal injury claims include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Product liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Workplace accidents

Types of personal injury claims involving multiple parties

Types of personal injury claims involving multiple parties

A personal injury case involving multiple defendants can vary in scope and present obstacles for you if you’re filing your claim without a lawyer. Regardless of whether or not you retain an attorney, it’s important to examine some of the most frequent real world scenarios to understand the nuances of personal injury claims that involve multiple parties.

Let’s take a look:

  • Motor vehicle accidents:

If you’re involved in a multi-vehicle accident, legally, multiple drivers may hold responsibility for the injuries you suffer. In order to determine who’s at fault, a thorough investigation of the accident, including any filed police reports and examination of evidence from the scene of the collision, is required.

In this scenario, you might begin by exchanging contact information with every driver who impacted the crash, and filing insurance claims against each driver who contributed to the accident. 

  • Product liability:

After you’ve been injured by a faulty or malfunctioning product, it may be legally determined that the product manufacturer, the distributor, and the seller of the product practiced negligence and are liable for your personal injury compensation. 

  • Workplace accidents:

Even the safest work environments may present hazards that lead to your personal injury. For example, if you work on a construction site, you may face inherent risks every day you’re on the job.  

If you get hurt, your employer, any contractors and subcontractors, and construction equipment manufacturers may hold liability for the injuries you endure. 

Indiana personal injury laws

Most states have specific laws surrounding personal injury cases, and Indiana proves no exception. If you’re filing a claim against multiple parties in Indiana, it’s vital to understand the laws that may impact your case.

Two of the Indiana laws that could influence any personal injury claims you file include:

  • Statute of limitations:

In Indiana, state code § 34-11-2-4 allows you to file your personal injury claims within two years of the date of your accident. If you allow this statute of limitations to expire sans a filed claim, you may not have further legal recourse or the ability to pursue compensation. 

  • Comparative fault:

In Indiana, personal injury compensation is impacted by comparative fault (also known as modified negligence) laws. This means that the monetary settlement in your case may be reduced if you’re found to hold any percentage of fault for your accident.

For example, if you’re more than 50% liable for your injuries, the courts may determine that you do not have a valid claim to compensation. If you hold greater than 0% of fault, but less than 50%, your compensation may be reduced. 

Steps to take in a multiple-party claim

How to determine personal injury liability  

In any personal injury claim, proving negligence and liability is a complex process. When a claim is filed against multiple parties, proving liability requires even more intricate detail and gathering of evidence. Nevertheless, liability is the cornerstone of your claim’s validity.

In order to determine liability in a multiple-party personal injury claim, a personal injury lawyer can:

  • Gather evidence:

The right personal injury lawyer will gather all critical forensic evidence to help prove the liability of multiple parties. This evidence may include photos, videos, documentation of medical bills and treatment, and eyewitness statements.

  • Determine shared liability:

If multiple parties hold liability for your emotional trauma and physical injuries, your lawyer may use evidence to help determine their varying degrees of fault. This will allow you to name multiple parties in your personal injury claim.

  • Interview witnesses:

Your attorney can interview forensic experts, crash reconstruction experts, medical experts, and witnesses who can testify to the accident and to the impact of your injuries on your daily life. 

Steps to take in a multiple-party claim  

If you believe that multiple parties are responsible for your personal injuries, it’s vital that you take certain steps in the immediate aftermath of your accident. These steps are paramount to the strength of your claim, and can pave your road to just compensation.

Seek Medical Attention 

Regardless of the severity of your injuries, self-diagnosis will not hold up in a court of law. Therefore, it’s important that you seek medical attention to provide documentation of the injuries you’ve suffered.

Injuries that may seem minor in the hours after your accident can increase in gravity. For example, you may have suffered internal bleeding but are initially asymptomatic. For your personal injury claim and for your safety, medical attention is an imperative step.

Documentation of the accident and aftermath

Record any pertinent details from your accident and the pain and suffering you experience in its aftermath. For example, ensure that you have copies of any filed police reports, photos or video of the initial incident, and the trauma you endure as a result of your injuries. 

Documentation may also include the cost of repairs, medical bills, and proof of lost wages, among other evidence. Eyewitness statements can also help strengthen your case against multiple parties.

Contact an attorney

Even before you file multiple insurance claims, the right attorney can help provide guidance on how you should legally proceed, and may share insight on the strength of your case.

Contact Yosha Law

It’s tough to know where to turn to handle a multiple-party personal injury claim. Nevertheless, the right lawyer can help guide you through the complexities and support you through this nuanced legal process.

You shouldn’t have to battle insurance companies or figure out the intricacies of a multiple-party personal injury claim on your own.

At Yosha Law, we understand that traumatic personal injury claims are unique to the individuals who endure them, and we care deeply about just results for your pain and suffering. Our clients don’t merely represent case numbers — they’re extended members of our family. 

Connect with us and together we can explore the merits of your multiple-party claim, and help you begin the road to recovery.

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