Most personal injury cases are relatively simple and straightforward affairs, with one person causing an injury to another one. However, there are times when it is possible for there to be multiple defendants in a personal injury case.
Needless to say, this can get very complicated because the defendants will all be pointing the finger at each other, and it can be difficult to determine just how much fault should be ascribed to each defendant.
That is why injury attorneys in Miami suggest that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in such a case, and indeed in all types of personal injury cases. That is because they will know what to do when there is more than one person to blame for your personal injury. So be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you were injured in an accident that was caused by multiple defendants.
Pure Comparative Fault
The laws regarding multiple defendants in a personal injury case are different in each state, which is why you should contact a personal injury attorney to straighten things out for you if you end up in such a situation. However, some states, like Florida, use a system called pure comparative fault— aka pure comparative negligence— to help sort out some of the issues with multiple defendants in a personal injury case.
The way it works is that each defendant pays a certain amount depending on their percentage of fault for the accident.
For example, if a car accident was caused by two different drivers and the damages in the accident amounted to $10,000, then each driver would pay an amount based on how much they contributed to the accident. So if driver A was deemed to be 70% responsible for the accident and driver B was deemed to be 30% responsible, then driver A would pay $7000 and driver B would pay $3000.
It should be noted that pure comparative fault also applies to the plaintiff— i.e. the accident victim— in the personal injury case. If they were deemed to be partially responsible for their injuries, then the amount of compensation they would get is reduced by their percentage of fault. So if they would have received $10,000 but were deemed to be 20% at fault for their injuries, then they would only receive $8000.
Complications When There Are Multiple Defendants
One of the problems, when there are multiple defendants, is that the defendants may not agree with the level of fault that has been attributed to them.
In these types of cases, the lower the percentage of responsibility that has been attributed to them, the better, since that means they will have to pay less.
The lawyers and insurance companies of the defendants will always argue that their client should pay less than the other defendant because they will claim that the other defendant was all or mostly responsible for causing the accident.
This can complicate matters and lengthen the amount of time a case might take because the plaintiff has to wait until the defendants resolve their issues with each other.
In some cases, the defendants may even end up suing each other over who should take most of the blame for the accident. That is why a personal injury attorney is vital in personal injury cases involving multiple defendants.