Who Is Responsible?
Determining who is responsible for catastrophic injuries can be difficult. There typically is one party directly involved at the scene. However, there may be several other less obvious parties whose conduct played a role in causing your injuries. Catastrophic injuries usually cause the victim to suffer extensive monetary damages. It is important to identify everyone who may be responsible so that complete justice may be done. An attorney experienced in handling catastrophic injury cases knows how to investigate the facts of a case and to learn the identities of every responsible party.
Any party who bears possible liability for your injuries should be investigated as to their role. Every case is different, and the exact identities of the responsible parties will depend on the facts of your particular case.
Employers? The employer of a person who injures you is liable for your injuries if you are injured while the employee is acting within the scope of his or her employment. For example, if you are injured by the driver if a delivery vehicle, you may be able to hold the driver’s employer liable. It is important to remember that an employer is liable only for injuries caused by an employee who is “on duty.” An employer is generally not liable for injuries caused by off-duty employees, or by employees who are disobeying company rules at the time of the injury.
Vehicle Owners? In many states, the owner of a vehicle is liable for injuries caused by the operation of that vehicle. Some state laws provide that this extension of liability includes car rental or leasing companies.
Manufacturers or Sellers of Products? Defective products may contribute to a catastrophic injury. Some products are considered defective because they are incapable of being made safe or of being used safely. Other products are considered defective if they are improperly designed or manufactured. Some products are defective because they are marketed in such a way as to lead a user to misuse the product. If the defect contributed to you injury, the manufacturer or seller of the product could be held liable.
Medical Personnel? Improper diagnosis or treatment of injuries can make your injuries even worse. The medical professionals who aggravate an injury by substandard work may be held legally responsible for a portion of your losses.
From the few examples given above, you can see that it is not always apparent who precisely is responsible for your injuries. Injuries may have several different causes, and a responsible party may be liable for the portion of your injury he or she caused. A personal injury attorney experienced in handling catastrophic injury cases will know how to uncover all of the parties who may be responsible for your injuries.