Who Is Liable to Pay Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

Who Is Liable to Pay Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

When you or someone you love is injured in an accident, a personal injury claim can help you secure the monetary damages you need to recover. This compensation can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, long-term care services, and more. Where does the money to pay these damages come from, and how does the court determine where liability falls?

The answer to these questions will depend on the circumstances of your case; it is not a decision you have to make on your own. A personal injury attorney plays a vital role in examining every detail of your accident to identify possible liable parties and determine where they fall responsible for your injuries. It is then up to a judge to decide which parties should be legally obligated to pay for your damages and how the amounts are split.  

Types of Liable Parties in a Personal Injury Claim 

Under New York State law, every personal injury case must be able to prove two points:

  1. That your injury was a result of the accident caused by another party; and
  2. That your injury was a foreseeable risk that the other party could have prevented, but didn’t.

Because each case is different, some personal injury claims may involve one party, while others may include several. These are the most common liable parties that can be responsible for paying damages in a case:

 Insurance Companies

Almost every personal injury case will involve negotiating with insurance companies to obtain compensation for damages. Insurance companies exist to protect organizations and individuals from paying out-of-pocket for accidents they have caused. In most cases, your accident attorney will need to negotiate fair and complete payments to obtain the maximum benefits for your injuries. This must happen before any other parties are considered. Insurance companies are heavily involved in most cases, particularly car accidents, premise liability, medical malpractice, and workplace injuries.


Many personal injury cases involve proving negligence of a single person or smaller group of individuals liable for your injuries. Depending on your accident, this person could include an employer, a co-worker, a premise owner, medical personnel, or a driver. If the individual party deemed liable for your accident has insurance, damages will be collected from their insurance company first. It is then up to the personal injury attorney to determine an additional amount of damages with the client to claim required from the individual party.


Negligence, especially in the case of workplace injuries, is often a result of an error or oversight at the macro level. A company may be held liable for any accident or injury when their actions as a whole directly cause a preventable accident to occur. These actions may include negligent supervision and safety policies, dangerous working environments, product defects, or any other policy that the company is responsible for upholding to keep workers and consumers safe.  


While a company is an organization that is always working towards a profit, institutions are larger parties dedicated to education, culture, religion, or public services, including schools, universities, hospitals, churches, and public agencies. Institutions can be held liable for injuries that take place similarly to companies, with liability based heavily on their ability to create effective policies and procedures, hire adequate staff, and provide safe environments.  


In cases where individuals are hurt due to product malfunctions or defects, clients may file a claim against the manufacturer for negligence. Product injuries can happen at home, work, or in any other environment. If the manufacturer is found liable for a defect or error in production, they may be liable for paying monetary compensation outside of their insurance policies for your injuries.

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney Immediately 

You may not know exactly who will be responsible after your accident. Accidents involving injuries are stressful and can be chaotic in the aftermath. The first step to always take after an accident is to seek medical attention for your injuries. Focusing on your health is the most important factor and key to an optimal recovery.

When your medical needs are met, the next step to take is to consult with a personal injury attorney about your accident. Knowing there can and may be multiple parties involved in your case can be overwhelming. A personal injury attorney will help guide you through examining the details to identify liable parties and provide support in gathering evidence to secure you the benefits you deserve.

Long Island Accident Lawyers

Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber have over 30 years of experience representing accident victims on Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support that our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate the claim process, using our experience as insurance defense attorneys. Not afraid to fight, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343, or schedule an appointment online at any time. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.

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