Riverside Personal Injury Attorney | California Laws


Who Can You Sue in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Riverside, CA, then you may wonder whether you have an actionable personal injury claim under California State Law. California entitles you to damages if you were harmed due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party. Diving into the facts of a personal injury case can be challenging, even for first-time plaintiffs. As such, it’s worth consulting an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney near you for an injury case evaluation, and for guidance on how best to proceed.

Contact our team here at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney in our legal network. We’ll get you started and give you clarity as to what you’ll have to do next to secure the financial compensation you deserve.

There Are Many Potential Defendants

When an accident has occurred, most injury victims believe that if they do have a damages claim, it would involve the defendant they consider obviously at fault for the car accident accident. For example, in a motor vehicle accident, the defendant-driver who caused the collision with your vehicle.

Often, personal injury disputes involve other, multiple defendants who aren’t obvious. It is worth evaluating who you can sue, as it is strategically advantageous to bring in defendants who have the financial resources to cover your damages (i.e., it’s strategically advantageous to sue a business with substantial insurance coverage, as opposed to suing a driver who has a low value auto insurance plan).

Let’s take a brief look at potential defendants who might be relevant to your case. Bear in mind that whether you can sue the defendant depends on the specific facts of your case, and so you’ll want to consult an attorney for a thorough and case-specific analysis.

Defendant’s Employer

If the defendant who caused your accident was acting within the “course and scope” of their employment at the time of the accident, then you can impose liability on their employer under a theory of vicarious liability. This enables you to recover all the damages owed by the defendant, but from the employer, who is likely to have substantial insurance coverage to pay out from.

Product Manufacturer

Oftentimes, an accident is caused, or at least partially caused, by a defective product. For example, a car accident may be caused by defective brakes. In these scenarios, it may be possible to sue the product manufacturer for damages.

Government (i.e., a Public Agency)

The government is a challenging defendant to sue, as there are a number of restrictions on litigation (i.e., shorter statute of limitations period, certain statutory immunities attach to the government). Still, it’s worth suing them if they are potentially responsible for causing your injuries.

For example, if a tree falls on your car, the city government might be responsible if they failed to properly inspect and maintain the treeline in a safe condition.

Contributing Defendants

In many accident cases, there are other defendants in the “chain of causation” who also contributed to your injuries — they just aren’t obvious until you dive deeper into the facts of the case. These defendants can be sued, and can be made to pay compensation for the portion of fault they’re responsible for.

For example, in a rear-end accident, you might think that the defendant-driver who collided with your car is the only person responsible — but diving into the case further, you may discover that another car collided with the defendant’s, causing them to lose control and rear-end yours.  That third-party driver can be sued.

Riverside, CA Accident Statistics

Riverside, CA is uniquely positioned when it comes to motor vehicle accidents in particular, as the city is primarily a residential hub, with most residents commuting west to areas in Los Angeles County for work.  This commuter-lifestyle no doubt has contributed to a large number of motor vehicle accidents, and the data reflects this.

According to a report from the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2019 alone there were nearly 2,000 individuals injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents.  Diving a little bit deeper into the data, we find that nearly 150 of those people were involved in accidents where there was an intoxicated driver.  Interestingly, nearly 350 injury-causing motor vehicle accidents were linked to speeding — which speaks to the heightened danger associated with commuting in Riverside and its surrounding areas.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer

If you’ve suffered losses due to another’s fault, then the law may entitle you to sue the responsible parties and recover damages as compensation. As the case develops, however, you may find that it is more complex — and more challenging — than you initially thought.

We can connect you to an experienced attorney who has the skillset and experience necessary to handle your case. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

1-800-THE-LAW2 Digital Content Manager & Legal Editor Posted On: August 23, 2022