What Happens if More Than One Party is At Fault For an Injury?
When a personal injury accident occurs, Pennsylvania law allows the victim to claim compensation from those responsible for causing the accident. When there’s only one party to blame, that’s simple. What happens if multiple parties are at fault for a personal injury accident? Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Rosen Justice explain claims with multiple defendants.
Can there be more than one personal injury defendant?
Yes, there can be more than one defendant in a personal injury claim. Each party is liable for their own actions. A victim can’t recover double damages. However, if multiple parties are responsible for causing injuries, the victim can name them all as defendants in the case.
The process of determining who to name as a defendant is an important part of any personal injury claim. You may hear the legal term joinder. To put it simply, joinder is involving more than one plaintiff and one defendant in a claim. Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys can help you name the right defendants to pursue your claim in the best way possible.
How is compensation determined when multiple defendants are at fault for personal injury?
In general, if multiple parties are at fault for personal injury, each party is responsible for their share of fault. Pennsylvania law § 7102 states that in general, each defendant is liable for the total portion of damages according to the ratio that they are at fault.
For example, if a defendant is 20% at fault for the accident, they pay 20% of the damages. Their liability is several, rather than joint. Several liability means that they are responsible for their share of fault alone, rather than the total amount of loss to the victim. However, there are important exceptions.
Are there any circumstances where a defendant has to pay another defendant’s damages?
Sometimes, a defendant is liable to pay all of the victim’s damages even if another party may also be to blame for causing the accident. Liability is for the total dollar amount in any of the following circumstances:
- Where the defendant committed an intentional tort
- Purposeful or intentional misrepresentation
- If the defendant is 60% or more at fault
- Release of a hazardous substance
- Certain Liquor Code violations
If a defendant has joint and several liability, they are responsible to pay the entire amount. Then, they may seek contribution from other defendants who have not paid their respective share. The victim may only recover once for their total damages. If a defendant has previously settled out of court, the jury may still consider their actions in order to determine shared responsibility.
Personal injury attorney near me – more than one party at fault
If you’re searching for a ‘personal injury attorney near me’, contact our attorneys for a review of your case. Any claim where more than one party may be at fault is especially complex. When you need a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, Rosen Justice can help you investigate, name the correct parties as defendants, and represent you through the process to claim the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a review of your case.