Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience, but when there are injuries to go with it, you may feel as though your entire life has been turned upside down. Suddenly, your days are filled with medical appointments, you may not be able to go to work until your injuries heal, and you may be facing financial expenses that you were not prepared to handle. When this happens, you may consider filing a claim but may not be sure if there might be more than one party who is liable for your injuries and losses. In that case, talking to a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer may offer you the clarity you need to move forward.
Determining Liability in a Car Accident Case
If you decide to file a claim against the party liable for your car accident injuries, you must have a clear picture of who was at fault for the accident. If the police report states that you were the responsible party, your case will not yield a positive outcome. Otherwise, depending on the state where the accident took place, you may be eligible to receive damages either under contributory negligence or a comparative negligence system.
Whom May I Sue After a Car Accident?
There are several different parties that you can sue after being in a car accident. Among them:
The Other Driver
You may sue the other driver for acting negligently and not taking the needed precautions that any other driver would have taken under similar circumstances. If you were involved in a pileup where many vehicles were involved, liability may rest on more than one driver. If so, you may have access to file claims with multiple insurance companies.
The Employer of the Driver at Fault
If the driver was working for their employer when the accident took place, like when they are delivering merchandise or driving for a ride-share company, you may probably sue the company. These cases become much more complicated and require the assistance of an experienced accident attorney to be successful.
The Owner of the Vehicle
If a teenager hit you while driving their parent`s car, you may sue them and argue that they should have known that the driver was not safe. If it turns out that the car was stolen, you will not be able to sue the rightful owner since they clearly had no way of knowing who was driving their car.
The Vehicle`s Manufacturer
If the driver crashed against you due to a defect in the other driver`s car, you may be able to sue the vehicle`s manufacturer or whoever manufactured the defective part or component. In these cases, the claim would most likely fall under the definition of a product liability claim in which case you do not have to prove that negligence played a role in the accident.
A Property Owner
If the car that crashed into yours had to swerve to avoid a tree branch or was unable to see a traffic sign due to thick vegetation too close to the curb, you may be able to file a claim against the property owner. In this case, it would be up to you to prove that the owner knew there was a dangerous condition present and did nothing to remedy it in a timely manner.