Filing a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your accident is one of the best ways to recover financial compensation to cover your injuries and damages. You can consult with a personal injury attorney about your case, and he or she will review the facts surrounding your accident to help decide whether filing a claim is the best option for you. If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, the first step is determining who is liable for your damages.
Who should I name in my lawsuit?
In the early stages of filing your lawsuit, your attorney will be gathering evidence and determining who is at-fault for your accident. In most car accidents, the driver of the vehicle that struck your vehicle will be considered the at-fault driver, as their negligence directly and proximately caused the accident and your injuries.
The at-fault driver will likely be the first person named as a defendant in your suit. However, there are also other parties you could potentially name as a defendant including:
- The owner of the other vehicle – The owner of the other vehicle may be partially responsible for the accident, even if they were not behind the wheel. The owner may have negligently entrusted the vehicle to the driver of the other vehicle, therefore making them liable for the at-fault driver’s negligence.
- The employer of the other driver – If the other driver was driving the other vehicle within the course and scope of their employment, their employer could be vicariously liable for the at-fault driver’s negligence under the theory of respondeat superior.
- Other drivers – If the accident involved multiple vehicles, other drivers’ negligence may have played a role in your accident, even if none of the other vehicles physically struck your vehicle. For example, if one vehicle rear-ended a second vehicle, causing the second vehicle to collide with your vehicle, both of the other drivers could be held liable for your injuries.
Can I still sue if I was at-fault?
It is very possible that your actions contributed to the accident that occurred. However, Tennessee’s Modified Comparative Negligence law, you can still recover damages as long as you are 49 percent or less at-fault for the accident. Your total damages will be reduced depending on your level of fault. If you are 30 percent liable for the accident, you will only recover $70,000 of your $100,000 in damages.
Determining who is at fault for your accident is the key first step in filing a car accident claim. A personal injury attorney in your area can help determine who to file your claim against and help you through the rest of the legal process.