Multiple defendant cases can be complex to resolve, especially those involving a Tulsa truck accident. In almost all multiple party cases in Oklahoma, the issue of fault and damages can be difficult to sort out.
Consider a case in which multiple cars and multiple impacts are involved. Sometimes impacts happen as a chain reaction — whether as a series of rear end collisions or as a result of unsafe lane change involving multiple vehicles. Understanding the mechanics of a Tulsa truck accident and assigning liability can be challenging in these cases.
Liability in a Tulsa Truck Accident
In 2011, Oklahoma adopted a purely several liability approach for damages arising out of all civil actions — excluding contracts. (Okla. Stat. tit. 23 § 15.)
This means that when resolving a claim against multiple defendants, each tortfeasor, or their insurance company, is only liable to the claimant for the proportion of damage that he or she inflicted. If a tortfeasor caused only 5% of the damage to the claimant, then the claimant can only collect 5% of his or her provable damages from that tortfeasor.
This can make it very difficult for a claimant in a multiple party lawsuit, such as one involving a Tulsa truck accident. In this type of case, the claimant bears the responsibility for making sure all the defendants are identified. If the claimant fails to do this in a timely fashion, the claimant runs the risk of not being adequately compensated.
Compare this to a joint and several liability state. In joint and several liability jurisdictions, the plaintiff can collect all of his or her damages from any of the culpable parties in a multi party lawsuit. That tortfeasor can then file a claim for indemnity against the other tortfeasors involved. In a joint and several liability state, the plaintiff’s job is easier.
How an Attorney Can Help
You, as the plaintiff, have the burden of identifying and making claims against all the possible culpable parties. Each tortfeasor or defendant is only liable for the damages that they caused in a Tulsa truck accident.
If you fail to gather all the defendants, you could go uncompensated and the culpable party or parties could go free. Your attorney can help to identify, gather, and make claims against all the potential defendants in a timely fashion.
If your Tulsa truck accident is in the initial claim stages, you will need to work with an attorney experienced in multi-party personal injury claims. You need to make sure that you fully understand the logistics of how the accident was caused and by whom. This often requires the services of an accident reconstructionist.
Your attorney will also know what evidence needs to be collected in a timely manner, and can help gather that evidence before it is lost or destroyed. Once liability is determined, then your experienced Tulsa personal injury attorney can help resolve the case and obtain compensation for you in accordance with the degree of culpability.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Car Accident Attorney
To get help determining who is liable after an Tulsa truck accident, contact an Oklahoma personal injury attorney at the Personal Injury Law Office of Tulsa today.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 918-924-5528 or send your question using the email form on this page.