What is a Cross-Complaint in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Lawsuits can be confusing when there are multiple people involved. In personal injury cases, the parties that sue another person for their injuries are named plaintiffs, and the people they are suing are the defendants. It gets a little trickier when a cross-complaint occurs.
For example, if a truck driver caused an accident that led to two other cars crashing, all the injured parties would typically sue the negligent truck driver. Each injured person would be a plaintiff in the lawsuit. In a cross-complaint, one of the injured plaintiffs in the car crash could decide to sue another injured party.. This would happen if Driver #1 thinks Driver #2 is somehow responsible for her injuries as well.
A plaintiff may only file a cross-complaint if the complaint relates to the main lawsuit. In the above example , Driver #1 would not be able to sue Driver #2 for anything unrelated to the car accident. Unrelated cross-complaints are not allowed because it would potentially draw attention away from the plaintiff’s main claim.
The goal of cross-complaints is to condense all the related claims parties have against each other into one case. This would make things easier for judges, lawyers, and the parties involved because everything can be dealt with at once.
Kershaw, Cook & Talley offers legal services for personal injury cases. If you would like a free case consultation, give us a call at (916) 520-6639.