Joint and several liability refer to situations in which there are multiple people proven to be responsible for the injuries or condition of the victim because of their negligence.
It is not easy to prove joint liability or several liability, but there are cases where the ability or inability to prove it will determine the outcome of the case. People who may find themselves in situations where liability may affect their compensation are urged to think about how responsible each party in the suit may ultimately be.
Determination of Responsibility
A crucial element in a medical malpractice case is the determination of responsibility for the sufferings, pains, and injuries of the claimant, patient, or victim. However, this process is not an easy one to figure out. In several cases, it may be up to the laws within particular states to determine the parties that are responsible for claims of injury and how much should be paid out in compensation, and by whom.
In most circumstances, there will be three situations that are likely to occur when several and joint liability is present in a medical malpractice suit:
- The first is that of joint liability. In such situations, each defendant or responsible party is liable for an amount up to and including the full financial amount. Both parties are required to pay the whole of the compensation total.
- In several liability, responsible parties only have to pay up to the amount of damage that they caused. This will not usually amount to the whole sum.
- In joint and several liability, all parties must collectively pay the total amount of damage, no matter how much each individual party is responsible for.