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In some car accident cases, the defendants—or those accused of causing the accident—seem fairly obvious. For example, if you have been rear-ended, you would assume that the driver that hit you in the back is the proper defendant. However, many claims are much more complex and involve multiple defendants. If you have been injured in a California car accident, how do you know who to sue?

Possible Defendants in a Car Accident Claim

Depending on the facts of your case, there may be a single defendant responsible for the accident, or there may be multiple defendants that share liability. When determining liability for a motor vehicle accident, each defendant’s share of responsibility must be determined before the accident victim is able to settle the claim or receive a jury award at trial. 


First and foremost, the driver of a vehicle will be the first defendant named in a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims are a type of negligence claim, which means that the injured victim must prove a direct relationship between the at-fault driver’s conduct and the victim’s injuries.

Road Crews and Other Workers

It is not unusual to drive past road crews on local roads and interstates in California. Drivers are normally directed to slow down and use extra caution when passing through these areas. However, these crews also have a duty to ensure their work area is safe for motorists. Poorly marked detours, equipment blocking a roadway, and other issues may cause an accident.

Additionally, if road work is poorly done—leaving dangerous holes or unlevel surfaces on a roadway—these companies may be held liable for any accidents that occur as a result.

Government Entities

City bus drivers, police officers, school buses, and a number of other government entities provide valuable services to Californians. However, if state employees are negligent while on the job and cause an accident, the employee and the government entity for which that employee works may be sued in a personal injury claim.

Claims against government entities proceed much differently than do claims against private citizens, so it is best to consult with an experienced California personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you are involved in an accident. 

Parents of Teenagers

California imposes liability on parents if their teenagers cause accidents. These laws are called parental responsibility laws and may be applied if a parent gives child permission to drive a vehicle and that child then causes an accident.


In some cases, liability in a motor vehicle accident may be extended to an employer. For example, if a truck driver caused an accident, and the trucking company knew that the truck driver had been involved in numerous accidents in the past, the company may be partially responsible for the accident. The same theory may apply to other types of employees.

How Do I Know Who is Liable for My Accident?

In many cases, it is difficult to determine liability without an in-depth examination of all of the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, as a driver, how would you know that a road was recently damaged during repair work? How would you determine if a trucking company should have hired a truck driver?

The assistance of an experienced California personal injury attorney is a valuable asset in cases that involve complicated questions of liability. These attorneys have a network of experts they are able to consult to resolve complex issues in personal injury cases. They are also able to obtain documents from various entities that provide additional insight into an accident.

When you hire a personal injury attorney, you do not have to worry about doing the investigating in your case. You may focus on recovering from your injuries and moving forward with your life while your attorney builds your case to maximize the number of damages you are entitled to under the law.

If You Need Assistance with an Accident Claim, Call Kuvara Law Firm Today

At Kuvara Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys are experienced in cases that involve complex liability issues.

To schedule a free consultation with our excellent legal team, contact us at 1-800-4-INJURY.

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