Can you sue more than one person or company in a lawsuit in Texas? In some situations, you have the legal ability to sue multiple defendants at once. However, this only applies in some legal cases.
A lawyer can help you determine if you have a chance to sue multiple defendants or should stick to a single focus in your lawsuit. You can learn more with our team at the Buzbee Law Firm. Call us or complete our online contact form to speak with a legal professional.
How Many People or Companies Can You Sue in a Single Lawsuit?
You may have the option to sue multiple defendants for a single incident. The limit on how many people or businesses you can include in a lawsuit depends upon the specific facts of your case. Generally, you can include anyone with a degree of responsibility for your loss or injury.
Many lawsuits focus on a single defendant: the person or business that caused your losses. However, a lawyer may explore multiple:
Some defendants qualify as “necessary” to pursue your claim. Accordingly, the court requires these defendants in order to make a fair determination of your claim.
Your case may also involve permissive defendants. These individuals are not strictly necessary to include. However, their presence makes sense because they’re involved in the same incident that caused your losses or injuries.
A lawyer can review all the people or businesses involved in your accident, identify any necessary or permissive defendants, and move forward with your claim.
For a free legal consultation, call 844-349-9196
You May Sue Multiple Parties Due to Employment
Can you sue more than one person or company in one lawsuit? You have the right to sue multiple defendants if each one played a role in causing your injuries or losses.
You may also seek compensation from multiple parties in cases involving an employer and employee. For example, let’s say you ended up in an accident with a commercial vehicle in Texas and the accident occurred while the trucker was working.
In this situation, you could file a lawsuit against both the truck driver and the trucking company because the company holds liability for the actions of an on-duty employee. You do not have to establish negligence for the employer in this situation.
Why Sue More Than One Person or Company in Texas?
While you can sue more than one person or company in some situations, many people wonder why they would take this legal step. In some cases, suing multiple parties can help you better cover the losses associated with an accident or injury.
A single defendant may be unable to financially cover losses associated with your:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost wages at work
- Diminished earning potential
You may also secure more funds if you file a claim for business cases by pursuing multiple defendants. Discuss your specific situation with a lawyer to learn more.
Jointly and Severally Liability in Lawsuits
The compensation you receive if you sue more than one person or company in one lawsuit can vary. Under Tex. Civ. Practice & Remedies Code §33.013, our state considers multiple defendants jointly and severally liable.
However, this form of liability only applies if:
- The defendant is at least 50% responsible for the damaging act OR
- The defendant acted to commit a felony or do harm
Many people wonder about the definition of jointly and severally liable. Generally, in these cases, each defendant holds full liability for the costs associated with the legal claim.
However, each defendant does not have to pay the total damages. Instead, the plaintiff can select one defendant to pay the full compensation. The defendants then have a chance to file their own claims to secure a contribution from other liable parties.
An Example of Defendants Who Are Jointly and Severally Liable
Let’s say you slipped and fell on a friend’s property because they knowingly allowed a hazard to develop. Three friends, who we’ll call Al, Ben, and Cory, co-own the property. You could file a lawsuit against all three property owners.
Each property owner would be jointly and severally liable for your losses. However, you choose to secure 100% of your compensation from Al.
Al has the legal right to pursue additional claims against Ben and Cory to recover damages. Depending on the court’s findings, Al may receive compensation from both Ben and Cory or cover the losses on his own.
How Do You Know How Many People to Sue in Texas?
Many plaintiffs feel unsure how many people to pursue compensation through the court system. Fortunately, a legal professional can assess your situation and guide you as you move forward.
Your lawyer may recommend that you file a lawsuit against one person or multiple parties, depending upon the unique aspects of your claim.
A lawyer may also advise you to settle your claim outside of court instead of filing a lawsuit. Settling usually involves a period of negotiations with insurance agents, ending in an agreement accepted by all parties.
Find Out How Many People You Can Sue in Texas
Can you sue more than one person or company in one lawsuit? Depending on your situation, you may have the opportunity to file a lawsuit with multiple defendants. Work with a lawyer to determine if this works best for your unique legal needs.
You can review all aspects of your case when you contact our team at the Buzbee Law Firm. We can listen to you, answer your legal questions, and build a personalized claim to meet your needs, regardless of the number of defendants involved.