Chipley, FL asked in Personal Injury

Q: If person #1 pushes person #2, they then trip and hit person #3, who does person #3 sue? i.e. who is responsible?

Person #3 died, and her estate is suing.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: In a textbook setting, person #1 would be liable. But in an actual, real life setting, there could be other factors that jurors could consider. In real life, it could be more complex than simply letters representing the parties and arrows showing conduct between them, as there could be a criminal prosecution and the civil wrongful death action mentioned. Good luck.

Tim Akpinar

A: Most states have some version of what's commonly called "comparative fault" laws. This means that a jury gets to determine who has fault for person #3's death, including #3 if he/she did something that was a contributing factor in the fall. Typically this requires the jury to hear the facts of the case and then decide how to assign percentages of fault. As an example, a jury could assign 33% to person 1, 33% to person 2, and 34% to person 3. The total just needs to equal 100%. Based on your brief explanation, I can imagine any number of scenarios where person1, 2, or 3 has all or a portion of the fault. If the facts support person 1 and 2 having fault, they could both be sued.

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