Can You File a Claim Involving Multiple Plaintiffs or Defendants?
Below, a Virginia injury lawyer discusses class action lawsuits and whether you need to hire your own attorney after an injury. To learn more specific information regarding your claim, call today and schedule a free consultation.
If I’m Not The Only Person Who is Hurt Should I Still Get My Own Lawyer?
That depends on the specific circumstances of your injury and your accident.
If you’re injured in an incident involving other injured parties you should certainly contact an attorney. If that attorney is right for you, disclose to them if there are other parties involved, other injured persons or potentially involved parties. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to let you know if you need an attorney for yourself or if there is a situation where you can be represented by the same attorney as others who were injured.
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit, especially those you may see on TV, radio, and the news, is a type of civil action that involves a large group of people coming together with similar claims to form what’s called a “class.” These classes are typically made up of people that have suffered similar injuries or similar type of injury from the same causal source. It could be a dangerous drug, a dangerous product, or a deceptive or defective business practice such as a marketing scam. The majority of class action suits that are in the news are large corporate defendants such as medical drug or a device company, banks, or other large corporations that have systematically injured people. So class action suits actually mean a large group of similar plaintiffs coming together to bring an action against the same corporate entity.
Can You Sue Multiple Parties at The Same Time In a Personal Injury Case in Virginia?
Yes. Multi-party suits can occur in Virginia and are in fact quite common. A common example would be in a motor vehicle accident scenario where a parent entrusted their vehicle to their child and the child then hurt someone in a car accident. The injured party can then file a suit against both the driver and the owner of the vehicle to try to seek full compensation. Another example would be a slip and fall case in an office building or shopping center where a suit could be filed against multiple entities such as a cleaning company, the building owners, or perhaps an individual entrusted with keeping the premises safe.
How Are You Required to Decide Which Party or Parties to Sue In a Given Case?
A personal injury attorney will do their research and find out who was potentially at fault. If there was a corporate entity, they will find out the true name and structure of that corporate entity. They will determine who the players are and find out their contact information. Typically, attorneys would err on the side of caution and bring as many potential at-fault parties into the action as soon as possible in order to decide who was liable and what types of insurance policies may be available for coverage.