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April 28, 2023

Who Can Be Sued in a Car Accident in California?

Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

Short answer: In California, several parties may be held liable for damages in a car accident case. These parties include the driver who caused the accident, the owner of the vehicle, the employer of the driver if the accident occurred while on the job, and even the manufacturer of the vehicle in some cases.

Additionally, if the accident involved a government vehicle or occurred on government property, the government agency may also be held liable. It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine who can be sued in your specific case.

What Can You Sue for in a Car Accident in California?

In a car accident case in California, you may be able to sue for various damages, including:

  • medical expenses,
  • lost wages,
  • property damage,
  • pain and suffering, and
  • wrongful death if a loved one was killed in the accident.

Additionally, if the driver who caused the accident was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be able to seek punitive damages. It is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine the types of damages you may be eligible to receive based on the specific circumstances of your case.

What Evidence is Needed to Sue Someone After a Car Accident in California?

To sue someone after a car accident in California, you will need to gather evidence to support your claim. This evidence may include:

  • Police report: A police report is often prepared after an accident and can contain valuable information such as the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as the names of the drivers involved, witnesses, and any citations issued.
  • Eyewitness testimony: Witnesses who saw the accident can provide crucial testimony about what happened and who was at fault.
  • Photographs and video: Pictures or videos taken at the scene can help establish the extent of the damage to the vehicles and the accident scene itself.
  • Medical records: Medical records can provide evidence of any injuries sustained in the accident, as well as the costs of treatment and future medical care.
  • Expert opinions: Expert opinions from accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals can help support your case.
  • Insurance documentation: Insurance policies, claims, and correspondence can help establish the extent of the damage and the amount of compensation sought.

It is important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim and work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you build a strong case.

Is it Necessary to Hire a Lawyer?

While it is not legally required to hire a lawyer to pursue a car accident claim in California, it is highly recommended. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

An attorney can help you gather evidence, assess the damages you may be entitled to, and determine the liability of the other party. They can also handle communication with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys, and represent you in court if necessary.

Additionally, an attorney can help you understand your legal options and the potential outcomes of your case, as well as work to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries and losses.

Overall, while it is not necessary to hire a lawyer, doing so can greatly increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome and fair compensation in your car accident case.

suing after car accident california

Will My Case Go to Trial?

Not necessarily. While some car accident cases in California do go to trial, many are settled outside of court through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration.

If you file a lawsuit after a car accident, your case will proceed through the court system, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. However, if the other party is willing to negotiate and settle the case out of court, you may be able to reach a settlement agreement that avoids the need for a trial.

Ultimately, whether or not your case goes to trial will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, including the extent of the damages, the strength of the evidence, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate and reach a settlement.

Have Questions About Your Case?

LawLinq has connections with some of the best car accident lawyers in the state of California. If you’d like to get connected with a lawyer for free as opposed to doing your own homework for an attorney, give us a call.

Finding a lawyer can be a tough and exhausting experience. Get answers to the questions you have today.

About the Author

Jessica Anvar

California Consumer Litigation Attorney Jessica Anvar, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Lemon Law Experts California’s leading lemon law firm. She has multiple years’ worth of experience working with both state and federal lemon laws. Her practice focuses exclusively on consumer protection cases. Ms. Anvar received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University. Jessica is very active in her local legal community and has helped thousands of clients across the state of California. She has an outstanding record as a true advocate for consumers.

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