Personal injury claims, by nature, can be complicated. The more parties you add into a claim, the more complex it becomes. You may have already discovered this if you’ve suffered injuries in an accident, only to find out that there’s more than one party responsible for the losses you’ve suffered. Trying to get even one party to accept fault is a challenge—trying to get multiple parties to accept their role in an accident is a feat of strength.
If you’ve been injured and you believe multiple parties are at fault, you’ll need an attorney to help you sort through the evidence and build a claim. We can help. Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612 to schedule a consultation now.
Complications of Accidents with Multiple Liable Parties
Generally, the more people involved in an accident claim, the more complicated the claim will become. Consider the typical example of a tractor-trailer accident. There are often multiple parties at fault in one of these accidents, and since the resulting damage is often tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, finding out the truth is crucial. If the driver is partially responsible for driving while fatigued and the shipping company that loaded the truck is also partially responsible, your attorney’s work has essentially just doubled—even though the amount of compensation is the same.
As you may expect, no one wants to be held liable for an accident. Trying to prove one party’s guilt is hard enough, but when you have to convince several parties’ insurance companies that they need to pay up, the process may become much longer.
Joint and Several Liability
Alabama is one of just seven states with a pure joint and several liability approach to personal injury claims. When more than one party is liable for injuries caused to an individual, there are several ways to determine who pays. In some states, defendants are ordered to pay a certain amount based on the amount of fault they share. Some states follow that same basic principle, but they can hold one party accountable for the entire amount if one party has a greater share of liability.
Alabama holds all parties responsible for the entire amount of damages, regardless of how much blame each party actually shares. This means that you may be able to recover all of your compensation from one liable party, even if multiple parties are responsible for your injuries.
Your attorney may still work to determine how much liability each party has in your accident, rather than seeking full compensation from one party. This may make it easier for you to recover the full amount due, especially if you were involved in a severe accident that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
It all comes down to evidence, which is one of the reasons we recommend hiring an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Evidence comes in many forms, and some begins to disappear right after an accident.
Consider skid marks on the road, damage to medians and other public property, and eyewitnesses. The first two will likely be cleaned up and repaired in short order, and the longer you take to get a statement from an eyewitness, the less they are likely to remember. When you hire an attorney right away, they can begin collecting, cataloging, and analyzing evidence in order to build the strongest case possible for you.
Why You Need a Lawyer
When there are multiple parties that have caused you harm, trying to get one to accept responsibility is a challenge you don’t need when you are trying to recover. Every party might seem sympathetic to your cause, but only for as long as it takes to shove you over to another party’s insurance provider.
The only way to end this cycle is to involve an attorney whose only priority is your best interests. They can figure out who is responsible, how much they are responsible for, and how much each party is actually capable of paying.
Find Out How Burns, Cunningham & Mackey Can Help You with Your Claim
We know the stress you must be facing as you recover from an accident, and we’re here to help you fight for full and fair compensation. To set up a consultation with our team, call us at 251-432-0612 or reach out to us via our online contact form.