Don’t Know Who Injured Me- Can I Still Sue?
Published on:September 24, 2015

If you are injured or your property is damaged and you do not know the person who injured you or caused the damages to your property, you might feel helpless. However, just because the person responsible is unknown does not mean you cannot sue. The legal system in Staten Island is set up to huddle any lawsuit where the identities of the defendants are a mystery. It might make your case less likely to be a success, but if you do not know the address or the name of the culprit is not a blow to a civil case. Here is how you can sue even if you do not know the person who damaged your property or injured you.

‘Doe’ Defendants

There is a term known as “Jane Doe” and “John Doe”: most likely related to the police procedural, where an unidentified body is found. In Staten Island, the court will allow a lawsuit to proceed against the unknown defendant or defendants. The “Doe Defendants” are named in a civil case for personal injuries just like regular parties and the practice is really helpful if you are not aware of the identity of the person who injured you or damaged your property. For instance, your case may refer to the multiple defendants as “Doe 1 through 20.” Unfortunately, the jurisdiction limits the number of Doe defendants that are named in a particular lawsuit.

Why File a Lawsuit with Doe Defendant

One of the key benefits of filing a lawsuit with Doe defendants is to prevent the statute of limitation from lapsing on your personal injury claim. In Staten Island and the surrounding areas, you are given a certain period of time (about two to three years) to file a suit for personal injury claims. However, if you wait too long because you are not aware of the identity of the defendant, your chances of recovering the damages may be reduced to zero. By filing a lawsuit with Doe Defendants, you typically stop the clock and an opportunity to start identifying your culprits. Remember, once you file your personal injury lawsuit on Doe Defendants in the court, you will only have approximately two to four months to serve the defendants with a complaint.

Finding the culprit

Once you have filed a lawsuit, even with Doe defendants or multiple unknown, it is your duty to discover who the exactly responsible parties are. For instance, if you were in a fight and have no idea who your attackers were, it is possible to use the discovery method to learn the identities of the culprits. You can subpoena your witnesses or the owners/ employees of the premises who can identify the attacker(s). In case it was a hit and run accident, you can contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you identify the defendant. Most personal injury lawyers have the skills and knowledge of identifying hit and run motorists.

Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or your loved one is injured in Staten Island with unknown defendant, you can still pursue a legal claim. Besides, the identification of the Doe defendants, handling cases with unknown defendants is very complicated. In order to maximize your chances of success, you will need the help of skilled personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and get the justice you deserve.