Society generally provides that an individual who causes damage to another needs to be liable and pay the injured party compensation, as these laws are designed to ensure that an innocent party does not suffer needlessly due to another person's negligence. However, it's not always clear-cut when it comes to determining who is liable for an act of negligence and more than one entity could be involved. If you're suffering some losses and it could be down to the actions of more than one person, what do you need to think about?
The Need for Change
Over the years, this situation has caused legislators and the finance industry to have more than their fair share of sleepless nights. This is because it has been very difficult to determine how much compensation each individual party may owe to the other, especially when the plaintiff may try to take advantage of each individual's personal assets. In fact, jury awards were becoming so substantial that the insurance industry forced legislators to take action, to limit liability carefully in these situations.
Today, therefore, you are only able to pursue defendants on the basis of their proportionate liability, which is the legal terminology developed for this type of case. This is designed to stop people going after only one defendant and not bothering with the other, if it can clearly be seen that the former has more resources.
Determining Equal Liability
A large part of the case will be based on determining exactly who is to blame and whether they have equal liability. Then, the blame can be attached proportionately and the case will need to be structured according to those terms.
If, for example, you were injured in a car accident where more than one other vehicle was involved, then it must be carefully determined how each of those other drivers was at fault. It's not possible to lodge a claim for most or all of the damages against one driver, simply because he or she was driving a high-end sports car and to ignore the other, who may have been driving a 30-year-old "rattler." In many cases, these two drivers will be shown to be equally at fault and as a plaintiff, you will have to pursue each one equitably and not based on their financial situation.
Getting Valuable Advice
When you are considering your property losses due to the negligence of others, be very careful how you structure your case and what you pursue. If you do not proceed under proportionate liability laws the case could be thrown out and this is why it's important to get a specialised compensation lawyer on your side, so that you are treated fairly throughout the process.