When one has been involved in an auto accident, there are a number of different possible defendants that can be held liable for the damage. When a car accident lawsuit is filed, a plaintiff can receive financial compensation for the harm they have suffered. However, they must make sure to file a claim against the proper party who is responsible for the accident. Below are some of the possible defendants in a car accident lawsuit.
Lawsuits Against the Other Driver
The other driver is the most obvious defendant in a car accident lawsuit. An accident victim would be able to recover financially from the other driver if the other driver was negligent. In other words, if the driver did not act as a reasonable driver under the circumstances, they could be successfully sued for the damage they caused. Negligent actions could include speeding, making an illegal turn, or otherwise driving recklessly in a manner that caused the accident. A lawyer will have to prove in court that the other driver performed an action that an ordinary driver would not do.
Product Liability Lawsuit Against Car Manufacturers
Another possible defendant in a car accident lawsuit is the manufacturer of the car or its parts. Sometimes, cars are not made as designed or otherwise faulty by design. Whether it is a design defect or a manufacturing defect, a car may malfunction in a manner that causes an accident. For example, some SUVs were built with a defect that caused them to roll over and countless drivers lost their lives in the accidents. Alternatively, there has been large-scale litigation against the maker of defective airbags that ruptured during activation. In order to prevail in this type of lawsuit, the plaintiff will have to show that there was a defect in the design, manufacturing or marketing of the car or part, or that the seller was negligent in the design process.
A Legal Claim Against the Driver’s Employer
A car accident lawsuit can also target the other driver’s employer if that driver was on the job at the time of the accident. This is often the type of lawsuit that will result in the highest possible damages for the plaintiff. In order to file a successful claim against the other driver’s employer, the accident victim will have to show that the other driver was engaged in their work duties at the time of the accident for the benefit of their employer. This makes the other driver the agent of their employer, and it means that the employer is liable for the actions of their representatives. The Eichholz Law Firm has litigated these types of cases extensively.
A Car Accident Lawsuit as a Passenger
One can also file a lawsuit as a passenger against the driver of the car that they were riding in at the time of the accident. The criteria for a successful passenger lawsuit claim is similar to a standard car accident lawsuit. Passengers would have to show that the driver of the car acted unreasonably in a manner that caused the passengers’ injuries. A passenger has the option of suing the driver of their car or the other driver based on who they believe was more at fault for the accident.
Dram Shop Lawsuit
If the accident victim was hurt in a DUI accident, then some states allow victims to sue the person or bar where the other driver was served alcohol. For example, in May 2016, a bartender was arrested for serving 11 beers to a man who later drove intoxicated and killed an 18-year-old girl on her prom night. When it comes to civil liability, these statutes are called Dram Shop Laws. These laws apply in limited circumstances, but they usually mean that bartenders who serve visibly drunk customers can be held liable if that customer injures someone in a drunk driving accident. This also means that the establishment itself – with significantly more assets – can be sued.
A Suit Against the Government for not Maintaining the Road
If it was the condition of the road that caused the accident, the governmental entity responsible for maintaining the road can be sued under very limited circumstances. The government must have known or should have known of the problem with the road and neglected to fixed it. Essentially, the government is held to the same negligence standard as any other defendant would be. Still, there are different rules for filing a lawsuit against governmental entities and there may be some caps on damages.
Medical Malpractice Suit
Car accidents may also involve medical care and expenses for the victim who was hurt in the accident. This means that a doctor may have performed surgical procedures or made other medical decisions that impacted the health and well being of the victim. If the doctor has made a medical mistake, then the doctor could be found liable in a medical malpractice claim.
What Is Compensable in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
When there is a car accident lawsuit, the plaintiff can receive compensation for a number of different harms. Here is what is compensable in a car accident lawsuit:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages from missed work
- Any medical bills that have not been covered by insurance
- Loss of consortium by the spouse
- Property damage, including damage to a car not covered by insurance
- Any future damage, economic or otherwise
- In the case of a product liability lawsuit, punitive damages against the manufacturer
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys
The Eichholz Law Firm is well-versed and experienced in all types of lawsuits that stem from a car accident. They can provide those who have been injured with compassionate representation that is aggressive when it comes to litigating. They will review the facts of the case to figure out which of the above groups a particular case fits into.
Call The Eichholz Law Firm today to find out how they can help.