You can sue anyone involved in a car accident who acted negligently and contributed to the crash. In some states, you can even sue multiple people if they all contributed in part to the accident.
The following parties can be sued in a car accident case:
The Other Driver
In some car accident cases, the other driver involved in the accident was at-fault. If it was a two-vehicle accident, it might be easier to determine whether the other driver was negligent and caused the crash.
For example, if the other driver rear-ended you because they were looking down at their cell phone, you might be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against them.
However, in a multi-vehicle accident, it might be more difficult to determine fault. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), multiple-vehicle crashes can be more deadly than other crash types. Around 40% of fatalities resulted from crashes involving two or more vehicles.
If one driver rear-ended the car in front of it, and that car crashed into you, determining fault becomes more complicated. Both of the other drivers might share the fault, as they were both driving too closely to the car in front of them.
The Car Manufacturer
If the car that caused the accident, or a part on it, failed in the events leading up to the crash, the car or part might be defective. The NHTSA reported that about 2% of crashes were caused by a vehicle component failure. In these cases, the car or part manufacturer might be held responsible for your injuries.
If you are thinking of pursuing a claim against the car manufacturer, this type of claim will most likely be a product liability claim. In some cases, strict liability applies to product liability. This means you do not have to prove negligence—just that the product had a defect and it caused your injury.
In other product liability claims, you need to prove that, somewhere in the chain of commerce, someone was negligent. For example, there could have been a defect in the manufacturing or design or a marketing defect where the company did not tell consumers about a possible hazard.
However, if you or the other driver knew something could be wrong and failed to fix the car, you might not qualify for a product liability claim. You can consult with a lawyer to see what your best option is for seeking compensation.
The Auto Repair Company
If you recently got your car fixed by an auto repair company, but the same component that was failing before the repair caused your accident, the company might have been negligent. Generally, you have to prove the following to show negligence:
- The auto repair shop owed you a duty of care (to adequately repair your vehicle)
- The auto repair shop breached their duty (they did something careless)
- That breach of duty caused or contributed to your accident
- You suffered injuries and material losses
If you can prove the above points, then you might be able to sue the auto repair company for your accident.
A Government Agency
In some cases, a government agency might be at fault for your accident. If you got into an accident with an employee driving a government vehicle, you might be able to sue the agency that employed the negligent driver.
If a traffic light, bad road design or defect, or another road hazard caused your accident, and the government agency that oversees the road is to blame, they might be responsible for your injuries.
Filing a lawsuit against a government agency will be a little different than filing one against a private entity or a person. Sometimes, the statute of limitations, or the time you have following the accident to file a lawsuit, will afford you less time than a normal personal injury claim. The government might also have greater protection from a legal team, as well.
Contact Us for Help
Filing a car accident claim for compensation can be difficult, and Ben Crump Law, PLLC is here to help you. If someone else caused the accident and you suffered injuries, you should not have to pay for the consequences—they should.
A car accident lawyer from our firm can help you gather evidence, assign liability, a negotiate with the negligent party to recover compensation, including:
- Hospital bills
- Surgery costs
- Prescription medication costs
- Lost wages
- Reduced earnings
- Car repair or replacement costs
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death cases
A member of the team with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can tell you who can be sued in your car accident case, and what you might be entitled to in a settlement. Call us today at (800) 959-1444 for your free, no-risk consultation.