How Does A Personal Injury Claim Work If More Than One Person Caused An Injury In Buffalo?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on August 27, 2015

in Buffalo Injury Questions and Answers

When a personal injury accident involves more than one negligent party, it helps to have an experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer.

In most cases, an injured person may bring a personal injury lawsuit against all parties who were responsible for the injury.

If the case proceeds to trial, it will then be the responsibility of the jury to assign a percentage of fault to each of the negligent parties.

While this sounds fairly straightforward, New York’s laws regarding how much each negligent party is required to pay – known as joint and several liability laws – are somewhat complicated and can impact how much each responsible party is required to pay in damages.

In some cases – most notably motor vehicle accident cases – all of the parties found to be liable for an injury are responsible for the full amount of the damages.

This means that if one of the parties cannot pay his or her fair share of the damages, another responsible party or parties who can pay will be required to pick up that party’s share of the damages.

In other types of cases, the negligent parties are each fully responsible for paying the injured person’s economic damages – such as medical expenses and lost wages – but may not be responsible for making sure the injured person is fully compensated for other damages, such as pain and suffering.

The amount each responsible party is required to pay for non-economic damages is limited to the amount determined by his or her percentage of responsibility for the injury.

As a result, if one of the negligent parties cannot afford to pay his or her full share of damages, the injured person may not receive the full amount awarded by the jury because the other parties are not required to make up the difference.

Because of the complexity surrounding multiple defendants, it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate the likelihood of obtaining full compensation from each responsible party.

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence and need help, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.

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