Contrary to popular belief, you do not name as defendant the insurance company that insures the at-fault party that injured you. So, if a person rear-ends you in their car and causes you injuries, and they are insured by Allstate, you don't name Allstate in the lawsuit. You have to name the person or property owner personally/directly that caused you harm and damages in a California lawsuit for personal injuries.

The reason being is the at-fault person or property owner has a contract with an insurance company (in the above example, it is Allstate) to protect and indemnify them against any liability (fault) that causes injuries to another. By naming the person or property owner personally in a lawsuit triggers "privity" or standing (contract responsibilities) for their insurance company to hire an insurance defense lawyer(s) to defend the injury lawsuit.

Bad Faith Coverage

If an insurance company fails to do this, they could be charged with "bad faith coverage" and could be sued by their insured for negligence and punitive damages, not to mention sanctions by the State of California. So, any insurance company is highly motivated to make sure they do their written contractual duty to protect and indemnify their insured in any injury lawsuit that has been filed and served upon them. 

In California, if an injury settlement has not been reached within two years of the injury date, and the at-fault party is a private party (not a public entity), then an injury lawsuit must be filed no later than the two-year anniversary of the injury date. If this is not accomplished in time, the injured party will forever lose their legal right to a financial recovery for their damages. Therefore, it is very important that the injury lawyer knows ahead of time who the future potential defendants will be, so a lawsuit plan is in place.

Analysis of the Personal Injury Case Is First 

One of the first things I do in the first 30 days of any new case, is looking for any and all potential defendants. If it is a car collision injury case, I look to the driver and owner of the other car that caused the harm. If the other driver was an employee, I look to the employer (owner) for exposure as a future defendant. If there were multiple drivers at fault, I do the same analysis on them.

If it is a slip and fall injury case, I look to the store or property owner as of the future defendants.

If it is a product defect case, I look at the manufacturer and any other company along the supply chain of the defective product.

And, if it is a dog bite injury case, I look to the dog owner directly. Sometimes the landlord can be held accountable in dog bite cases where the tenant dog bites and injures someone, but certain facts have to be present for the landlord to be named as a future defendant. 

Personal Injury Attorney You Need in San Diego 

To this end, the insurance companies are not named in the lawsuit, but rather the person or property owner that caused the harm for not being careful enough to prevent the harm. If you have questions on your injury case and would like to speak with me free of charge, please feel free to call me at (619) 813.7955 or reach out to me via email at I welcome questions from people like you every day.

Stay strong, Mark

Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney