Another driver, a property owner, a store proprietor, or anyone else can be guilty of negligence and cause an accident that leaves you injured. But what happens if someone assisted them or encouraged them to engage in dangerous conduct that left you hurt? Would that party also be liable for your injuries?
When personal injury victims claim “concert of action” they seek to hold more than just the person directly at fault for an accident accountable. Utilizing this legal concept, victims can call upon more than one guilty party and more than one insurance company to secure the full financial support they need to pay for recovery.
Concert of Action in California Personal Injury Cases
When claiming the rule of concert of action, victims allege that someone provided substantial assistance to the person found at fault for an accident and injury. Victims must prove that someone worked towards a common goal with the primary defendant and therefore should be held at least partially accountable for the physical, emotional, and financial damages stemming from the accident.
Street racing is the most common example of when concert of action can apply. One racer may collide with your car and cause a serious injury. However, anyone also participating in the race could be shown to have acted in concert, encouraged the driver who hit you, and could also be liable for your damages.
Proving Concert of Action in Personal Injury Cases
To prove that an at-fault party acted in concert with someone else to cause you harm, there are generally three factors that must be demonstrated:
- The defendant acted in conjunction with the at-fault party and worked towards a common goal.
- The defendant knew the action or goal could violate a duty of care owed to the victim.
- The defendant provided significant assistance to the at-fault party.
The person accused of acting in concert can be found liable even if he or she didn’t enter into an official or stated agreement with the guilty party to commit a dangerous act.
Joint and Several Liability in a California Accident
Showing a concert of action between defendants is often a way to prove the concept of “joint and several liability” should apply to a personal injury case.
Joint and several liability would allow a victim to sue someone other than the primary defendant in their accident case for the full amount of damages. This might be necessary if the person directly at fault for your accident didn’t have sufficient insurance coverage. Someone acting in concert with that person could be responsible for the entire award owed to you.
This allows the victim to collect full financial support even when one responsible party has no insurance or not enough coverage. Under California’s rule of modified joint and several liability, only economic damages can be accessed against one guilty party. Non-economic damages would be paid by all of the wrongdoers according to their percentage of fault.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Victims in California
Personal injury cases involving the negligence of multiple parties can be complex. However, you should never allow someone off the hook for contributing to the suffering you’ve experienced. Maison Law works to identify every party who took a role in your accident and fights to hold every potential defendant financially accountable.
Attorney Martin Gasparian founded Maison Law to make sure victims who may have very little experience with the justice system aren’t taken advantage of. If you’ve been hurt by the mistakes of others, you should never face the incredible medical costs of your own recovery alone. Contact Maison Law for a free case consultation and allow Mr. Gasparian to go to work securing the compensation you need to get back on your feet again.