Third party claims are often very relevant in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, although they can occur in other types of legal cases. They are exactly what they sound like: a claim against any party (individual, corporation, employer, etc.) who is also connected to the case. Third party claims can be especially relevant in auto accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and/or if you have been injured by a dangerous product purchased from one entity but manufactured by another.
Specifically, Pennsylvania law defines a third party claimant as an individual, corporation, association, partnership, or other legal entity asserting a claim against an individual, corporation association, partnership, or other legal entity insured under an insurance policy or insurance contract of an insurer. For example, if you are injured in a trucking accident, and the trucking company claims that the accident and your injuries were due to defective brakes installed on the truck, the defendant in your case might be the trucking company and the third party might be the company that manufactured and/or installed the brakes in the truck.
More Comprehensive Damages
Joining a third party in a case typically makes sense when the defendant seeks to share the liability with another party and/or if it is necessary in order to provide comprehensive damages to address your injuries. This is especially the case if you are dealing with insurance companies that only compensate victims up to a certain limit; in that instance, you may find that you need to seek compensation for your injuries from a third party, aside from the defendant’s insurance provider. Like “regular” personal injury cases involving one defendant, a third party can be held liable if they have breached a duty by behaving negligently (or intentionally) and this act has caused another party’s injuries.
Third party claims often make sense for individuals who have been injured on the job because workers’ compensation blocks employees from suing employers, but a third party may be relevant in the incident. Specifically, under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer and its insurance company are immune from civil liability for injuries suffered by an employee. If an employee is injured, the insurance company must provide both wage loss indemnity and cover the cost of medical treatments. Thus, if a third party was in any way responsible for the injuries, it behooves both the employee and even the employer to sue the third party in the name of the employee.
Put a Pennsylvania Auto Accident and Workers’ Compensation Attorney on Your Side
Hiring a skilled personal injury or workers’ compensation attorney is crucial if you are dealing with accident-related injuries in order to protect your rights and maximize the value of your case. The experienced team at Solnick & Associates, LLC can help. Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to discussing your case.