I was one of several people injured in a multi-car accident. One driver was found at fault for the entire accident in both the police report and insurance arbitration. I have sued this driver. Other injured people have filed lawsuits against other drivers and other parties. I have mentioned in my lawsuit that these are related cases.
The defendant's attorney is seeking to dismiss my case as I have not included other parties, whom they say need to be apportioned liabilities. Is this a valid defense? Am I required to sue everyone? I am pretty clear my injuries were as a result of this driver's actions alone. There is both the police report and insurance statement supporting this. Whom is the burden of proof on to establish this?
You don't "mention" that there are related cases, you file a notice of related case, and get all of assigned to whichever judge got assigned the 1st one filed, probably yours, with the lowest case number.
If the other parties are indispensable, that's an affirmative defense, but this can be resolved by getting all the cases properly related. Clearly not everyone thinks that just the 1 driver is at fault since other parties have been sued also.
Get your own litigator --this sounds complicated.
Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
You have a mullti car accident which you were injured or your property was injured? Why in the world would you try to proceed in this without a lawyer? Come on....suck it up and hire an attorney to do this work for you. Would you change your own transmission too? What about re-wire your house? Is there a limit which you would allow an expert to take over?
The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.
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DISCLAIMER: I am not your lawyer and the mere fact that I provided a response to your question does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. The statements I provided are offered as general observations of law and are not intended for you to rely upon them in your specific case. Also, there may be facts unknown to me that, had I known of them, may change my response. You should retain an attorney to handle your specific case.
To answer the questions asked:
(1) Yes, it is a valid procedural tactic to have your complaint dismissed for failure to include indispensable parties. Under CCP Section 389, et seq., the Court has the discretion to dismiss a lawsuit without prejudice if an indispensable party cannot brought into the action.
(2) Yes, you are required to name all indispensable parties. See above for what happens if you fail to include indispensable parties.
(3) It is the Plaintiff's burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant's negligence caused the accident and that you were damaged. However, it doesn't matter if you believe the accident and your injuries were solely caused by only one individual. That's not your decision to make, that's the decision for a judge or jury to make. And odds are, the individual you think is to blame for the accident will likely blame you and the others involved. Also, what's said in the police report and insurance statement may be evidence to support your position, but neither are admissible in court in the form and manner that you have them. There are numerous steps that need to be taken to introduce into evidence the findings and conclusions found in the police report and the insurance statement. This is one of the reasons why an attorney should be retained.
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