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Personal Injury Law: Who Can You Sue?

When you are a victim of another person’s negligent or malicious act, you have an opportunity to file a personal injury claim against the party. However, you must prove that the other party was the root cause of the accident, leaving you in physical or emotional anguish. If you are going through something like this, you might wonder who you can sue.

This article examines the various aspects of personal injury law, particularly who you can sue in your claim. We will also examine what proof you need to win your case and what damages you can claim compensation for.

Who You Can Sue

Part of the provisions of the personal injury law is an explanation of who you can file a claim against in different situations. In most cases, there is only one defendant, an individual, a company, or a government agency. However, there are several defendants in other cases – like in a medical malpractice claim.

In most medical malpractice claims, you can sue the doctor who provided the standard care and the hospital that employed them. In this case, a legal doctrine known as vicarious liability will apply, holding the hospital accountable for its employee’s actions.

Under vicarious liability laws, any employer can be held liable for their employee’s actions, whether or not the employer was negligent. They will be responsible for any damage their employee caused while performing their duties.

Meanwhile, whether you are suing an individual or a company, you will deal with at least one insurance company. The insurance company will assign an insurer or adjuster offering a lump sum settlement in exchange for waiving future claims. You will need an experienced personal injury lawyer's legal aid to help you determine the right amount.

What You Must Prove

As a plaintiff, you are responsible for proving that the defendant is liable to you to win the case. The evidence needed will depend on whether the party was negligent or whether strict liability laws apply. However, you must prove the defendant in the particular case owed you a duty of care and failed to fulfill it.

Additionally, you must prove that the law holds the defendant accountable whether or not they did something wrong. You must show that the defendant harmed you directly through their actions or inactions, and you suffered losses rewardable. You are also responsible for showing the level of harm the defendant’s actions or inactions inflicted on you.

More often than not, you will use a preponderance of the evidence to prove your claim. That is, “more likely than not,” you present accurate evidence, and the defendant should be held responsible for your losses.

Damages You Can Claim

If you can successfully prove your case under the law, you are entitled to compensation designed for you to be “made whole.” “Made whole” means you are repositioned to your state before the accident or incident. The different types of compensation you can get in a personal injury claim include:

  • Economic damages – medical bills, loss of earning power, lost wages
  • Non-economic damages – pain and suffering, emotional distress
  • Punitive damages – these are specific damages meant to punish the defendant


Regardless of your reason for filing a personal injury claim, your case has a better chance with a seasoned personal injury attorney. “Your lawyer can build a strong case for you and deal with the insurance companies. They can also help you understand the damages you can claim and the limits imposed on them by law,” says personal injury attorney Jan Dils.

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