If you get injured in any sort of motor vehicle accident in Louisiana, one of the first things you’ll want to know is who caused it. Very few people ever want to admit responsibility for a car crash. They always point the finger at the other person. Then they want to know how fast they’ll get their money. What they need to do is call and talk to an experienced car accident lawyer in Lake Charles. Your attorney can review your case and give you an idea of what it’s worth. They’ll also let you know who you need to pursue for your Lake Charles car wreck claim.
You really won’t know at the outset who is responsible for your injuries. This is why the law gives you a couple of years to file your lawsuit. You have the time necessary to determine all of the possible defendants. It also let you figure out how much you need to sue for.
Some of the things that can impact your case are:
- You’re not sure how bad your injuries are because you’re scheduled for multiple surgeries or long-term physical therapy
- You may be waiting to be approved for permanent disability and aren’t sure of your lost future earnings yet
- Your Lake Charles car accident lawyer may be waiting to hear back from experts regarding causation
These things take time. While your case progresses, your Lake Charles car wreck lawyer will make sure all defendants are named in your case. This way, you don’t find out later on that you missed the boat on recovering for your injuries.
Your Lake Charles Car Accident Lawyer Must Name all Defendants at the Start
If you’re involved in a multi-car accident, you may not be sure who is responsible for your injuries. It could be any of the other drivers. It could even be a third party. Until you know for sure, however, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Your Lake Charles injury lawyer will name all possible defendants at the outset. This is because the court won’t let you randomly add a defendant down the road. The courts don’t allow plaintiffs to blindside defendants. If you know who should be named in the lawsuit, you can’t use the element of surprise. You need to name them all in your original complaint.
The only exceptions to these general rules include:
- If you can’t locate the defendant, or they’re avoiding service, you’ll be able to add them later on
- If someone was lying about their identity, you’ll be allowed to amend your complaint later
- If you had no reason to be aware of a particular defendant, you can attempt to add them to your complaint
Just keep in mind, once the statute of limitations has expired, you won’t be able to add any more defendants. There are almost no exceptions to this.
You May Have to Split the Insurance Proceeds
If there are multiple victims in a car accident, there will be multiple people demanding money from the insurance company. Since the defendant’s insurance policy only has a certain limit, there’s only so much money to go around. If the policy can’t cover the total amount demanded, each victim will receive a portion of the insurance proceeds.
Let’s look at a common example:
- There is one other plaintiff who has sued the defendant for the same car accident you were involved in
- The defendant has $500,000 in coverage
- The other plaintiff has demanded $400,000 in damages
- You have demanded $600,000 in damages
There’s not enough money to pay everyone’s claim in full. In fact, there is only $500,000 available but there is $1 million demanded. This means everyone will get half of what they originally demanded. You’ll get about $300,000. The other victim will get about $200,000. Whatever is left over, the defendant will be held personally responsible for. However, your Lake Charles car accident attorney can simply negotiate a settlement for the difference. This way, you know you’re getting a lump sum up front. Sometimes, a judgment against an individual isn’t worth more than the paper it’s printed on.
Contact an Experienced Attorney For Your Lake Charles Car Wreck Claim
When car accident cases involve multiple defendants, it can be very hard to sort them all out. If you don’t name every possible defendant in your lawsuit, you can lose the right to add them later. Car accident attorneys in Lake Charles, Louisiana know how to file against all potential defendants, so that you get most for your injuries and property damages.