In a more perfect world, someone who is injured in an accident or by some act of negligence would always know what caused the injuries. But we don’t always see things coming. A car crash can be caused by a chain of events that is largely invisible at the point of collision. A product could become defective at any point in its commercial lifecycle, from its design to the point where it’s sold to the customer. When the cause of an injury isn’t clear, but it’s clear that someone was responsible for it, the injured person may need to sue multiple defendants.
The purpose of suing multiple defendants
When an injured plaintiff doesn’t know who should bear responsibility for an injury, suing everyone who may be at fault isn’t a mere fishing expedition. It’s good strategy. Quite often someone recovering from an injury is faced with mounting medical costs, lost work time, and pain. During such a crisis it’s important to take an aggressive position, even if potentially blameless defendants get temporarily caught up in the controversy.
Suing several defendants at once has a number of advantages:
- Each defendant will pursue its own interests, which among other things encourages them to shift blame onto each other or identify other potential at-fault parties (through a so-called impleader).
- Each defendant will need to put forward evidence and testimony, shedding light on details that were hidden from the plaintiff at the beginning of the case.
- As the facts of the injury become clear it may turn out that more than one defendant bears some degree of responsibility, spreading out the liability and potentially improving the chances of collecting on a judgment.
Be aggressive, but be ethical
It’s important for both the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s lawyers that a personal injury lawsuit not be frivolous or merely harassing. Suing someone just to intimidate them into a settlement, by threatening high legal costs and an endless stream of paperwork, is unethical and unlawful. So is suing someone without having reasonable grounds for doing so.
Courts are unkind to plaintiffs who attempt to abuse the judicial system. For the plaintiff, a court that determines that a suit was an abuse of process may order the plaintiff to pay the defendant’s legal costs. NRS 18.010((2)(b). The plaintiff’s attorney can also be subjected to sanctions, ranging from fines to potential disbarment (in extreme cases). NRCP Rule 11.
GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped injured clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation for their injuries. For a free attorney consultation call us at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.