Can multiple people or parties be held responsible for causing an accident?
Car accident cases can be very complicated as every case is unique. So, when an accident occurs, it becomes very important to prove liability. In most accidents, there is a simple rule in the law to determine accountability. The law considers the less careful party responsible for causing the accident and thus requires the same person to pay compensatory damages to the person who has sustained injuries due to the former’s negligence. However, accidents aren’t always caused due to the negligence of one person or entity and may include the involvement of more than one party.
In fact, given the increasing number of automobiles on roads, car accidents involving more than two people are frequent occurrences. The issue of proving liability when more than one person is liable for an accident, although complicated, increases a plaintiff’s chances of recovering full damages. The laws for determining such liabilities differ from state to state. In most states, if the plaintiff is able to prove that multiple parties were responsible for the accident and for the injuries caused to him/her, the law holds all the responsible parties liable for causing the injury in entirety and subsequent compensation.
Still, there is no proper formula that could be used by an insurance company to determine someone’s fault. Consequently, deciding the level of culpability of any of the parties involved will boil down to a negotiation. The insurance company’s claim adjuster may offer you a certain percentage as compensation, following which you may accept, deny or even argue that the calculation shared by them of the due amount is inappropriate.
While proving fault can at times be very simple, in most other cases it often involves complex legal analysis, especially when multiple parties are liable.