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Suing spouse for personal injury

Los Angeles, CA |

Spouse was at-fault driver in a multi-car accident that badly injured me, after which she deserted me. There are multiple lawsuits against her also involving the driver of the other car. If I decide to file a lawsuit against her, am I required to name the other driver and all potential defendants?

The accident was in CA and my spouse is now out of state after separation.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. It depends on the facts of the accident.

    My firm handles car accident cases all over the State of California. You may call me for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

    My website is located at .

    No attorney/client relationship is or shall be created by this response on Avvo to non-clients of The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez.

  2. This is a very complex situation. I suggest you contact an attorney and be prepared to provide them with the accident report (if one exists) and an explanation of the alleged liability against your wife. The fact that she now lives out of the state will not impact her responsibilities for an accident that occurred here.

    This response applies to California Law only and does not create any legal relationship between the attorney and the person who submitted the question.

  3. You are not "required" to do anything. But the failure to name other might have legal consequences. I suggest you contact a local attorney to discuss your options in detail.

    Kurt Holzer
    1516 W. Hays St.
    Boise, ID 83702
    Idaho’s Injury Lawyers

    (208) 386-9119
    fax (208) 386-9195

  4. Contact someone local and competent; don't be baited but blusterpuss attorneys. Good luck.

  5. First, you are permitted to file suit either in the state of the location of the collision or the state of one of the defendants. Consequently, just because she is out of state does not diminish your right to file suit against her; you have the choice to decide the state to file suit. Second, due to the statute of limitations (I believe CA has a 2 year statute of limitations), you will need to file suit against any and all persons or entities that contributed to the collision in any way — including any defendants already listed. If fail to list a defendant, and the 2 years have passed, you could be faced with an “empty chair defendant” who the jury could decide is a percentage of fault; which means you cannot collect any money from defendants that are not listed. Keep in mind that multiple claimants/injuries could bring the policy limits of the at fault person in question. In other words, you could be limited on your recovery unless other coverage’s apply. Best to seek a qualified attorney to discuss your case. Good luck.

    Richard A. Cruz, Esq.
    Managing Attorney in AZ

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