How Does It Impact My Case If More Than One Person Was Hurt In The Accident?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on August 17, 2015

in Buffalo Injury Questions and Answers

Many Buffalo personal injury cases involve multiple injured parties.

This commonly occurs, for example, in motor vehicle accidents where there are multiple occupants in the vehicle that is struck.

There are several ways the presence of multiple injured parties may impact a case.

In terms of damages, multiple injured parties may, unfortunately, limit the amount of money each party can recover.

Nearly all personal injury cases involve insurance converage, and the presence of multiple injured parties means that there may be less insurance money available for each person.

For example, a defendant in a car accident may have insurance that offers coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

If there is only one or two injured parties, they each potentially may recover the full $25,000 per person available under the defendant’s policy.

If there are three or more injured parties, however, the insurer is not obligated to pay more than a combined total of $50,000 to all of them.

As a result, when that $50,000 is divided up three or more ways, a person who would have received the full $25,000 if no one else was injured may actually receive less.

Multiple injured parties also may affect the case procedurally.

It is common for such cases to be joined together – either by order of the court or agreement among the parties – during what personal injury lawyers term discovery.

Discovery is the period before any trial when the parties collect information from each other.

The purpose of joining cases for discovery is to avoid redundant situations such as requiring the same person to appear repeatedly to be interviewed by different lawyers.

If a trial is necessary, it also is possible that the cases brought by the various injured parties will be tried at the same time, although there is no absolute requirement that this happen.

An experienced personal injury can help you understand how your case can be expected to proceed.

If you have been injured, call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.

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