If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a car wreck, it is important to identify whom the at-fault party is, especially when you plan to file a lawsuit. This may seem like a simple issue, but it can be complicated. Why? Because there is an important distinction between who is the named defendant, and who actually pays out, in many car accident cases.  In most car accident cases, insurance companies are involved. Despite their involvement, the insurance company is usually not the named defendant. The person, or persons, who caused the wreck, and your injuries, will still be the named defendant.  The person filing the lawsuit must first determine who was negligent in causing the wreck. The negligent party is the defendant and the person filing the suit is the plaintiff (i.e. you or your loved one).  If the accident was a “hit and run” or you do not have the identity of the person who hit you, a case can be filed against “John Doe” as opposed to filing against the insurance company.