It is not that unusual for a New Orleans personal injury lawsuit to involve more than one defendant. Whether it is a motor vehicle collision caused by the negligence of multiple drivers or an injury caused by another person misusing an already dangerous product, there are several situations in which the actions of multiple parties may have substantially contributed to an injury.
In most cases, there is no bar to all of the responsible parties being sued for damages. If the lawsuit ends in a trial, the jury must decide to what degree each of the parties is liable for causing the injury. This task will be accomplished by assigning each defendant a percentage of the overall responsibility. Unlike some other states, under Louisiana Law each defendant is only responsible for providing an amount of compensation to the injured person directly proportional to the percentage of fault assigned to them by the jury. So, for example, if a jury determines that an injured person has suffered a total of $100,000 in damages and that one defendant was 10% liable while the other was 90% liable, the first defendant would be responsible for paying $10,000 of the damages while the second would be responsible for paying $90,000.
In addition to allocating damages among the defendants, a jury may also find that some act on the part of the plaintiff contributed to his or her own injury and assign the plaintiff a percentage of responsibility. In this situation, the overall monetary damages awarded to the plaintiff are reduced by the percentage of the plaintiff’s responsibility.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of others, we would be happy to help you. Please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.