Third Party

The legal terms and processes involved in a personal injury claim can be challenging to navigate. One term that often arises is “third party.” But what is a “third party?” Understanding the potential role of different parties in your case will be important as you seek compensation for injuries and damages.

What Is a Third Party in a Personal Injury Claim?

There are two main players in every personal injury case: the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff is the party accusing another, the defendant, of negligence or wrongdoing that caused them harm.

So, where does a third party come in? A third party is an individual or entity that may not be directly involved in the accident or injury but may have responsibility for it. This allows the plaintiff to hold them liable for damages.

Who Could Be a Third Party in My Pennsylvania Personal Injury Case?

Every personal injury case is different. A third party in one case may not be a third party in another. 

Different types of third parties include:

  • Employers: Employers may be vicariously liable for the acts of their employees. If someone’s employee injures you while they are performing job duties, the employee and employer may be legally responsible.
  • Property Owners: A property owner may be considered a third party if your injury occurred due to unsafe conditions on their premises
  • Manufacturers: A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be a third party if your injury was caused by a defective or unsafe product.
  • Contractors: A contractor or subcontractor may be liable if your injury was caused by their negligence.
  • Government Entities: A government body may be a third party if your injury occurred due to poorly maintained infrastructure or public property.

Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today if you or a loved one suspects that a third party shares liability for your accident or injury.

Examples of Third Parties in Personal Injury Cases

It is important to recognize potential third parties if you’ve been injured in an accident.

Consider some common examples involving third parties:

  • Pedestrian Accident: You are struck in a crosswalk by a delivery truck. You have a direct claim against the driver for failing to yield, but the delivery company may also be liable as a third party if the driver was acting in the scope of their employment.
  • Workplace Accident: You are injured when a piece of machinery malfunctions at your job site. You have a direct claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation provider. However, you may also have a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the machinery if the accident was due to a defect.
  • Premises Liability: You slip and fall in a grocery store due to a leaking ceiling. You have a direct claim against the grocery store company, but the property manager may be considered a third party if they are responsible for maintaining the property.
  • Dog Bites: You are bitten by a dog while walking through your apartment complex. You have a direct claim against the dog’s owner for failing to control the dog. However, you may also have a premises liability claim against the landlord as a third party for failing to ensure the safety of the complex.
  • Product Liability: Your car’s brakes fail, leading to a crash. You discover that the brake pads were defective. You have a direct claim against the manufacturer, but you may also have a third-party claim against the distributor or retailer.

A Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer can help you hold third parties accountable. They will work with you to evaluate the facts of your case and identify all potential sources of compensation.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help With a Third-Party Claim?

A personal injury lawyer is valuable in navigating third-party claims. Getting compensation from third parties can be difficult without experience and knowledge of Pennsylvania personal injury laws. 

A lawyer will help with:

  • Identifying Potential Third Parties: An experienced lawyer will analyze your case to identify all potential third parties and sources of compensation.
  • Investigating Your Claim: A lawyer will gather the necessary evidence to build a strong case with accident reports, witness statements, and expert testimonies.
  • Negotiating Settlements: A lawyer will negotiate settlements with third parties and insurance companies so you receive adequate compensation for your damages.
  • Representing You in Court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will represent you in court and present your claim against a third party.

You’ll want to work with an attorney if your personal injury case involves multiple parties. These legal matters can become very complicated, with each party trying to shift blame to each other (and possibly you). 

Contact a Harrisburg Personal Injury Lawyer to Evaluate Your Third-Party Claim

Understanding who can be a third party in your case is important. With an experienced Harrisburg personal injury attorney, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim and additional compensation for your injuries. Our team will help you hold them accountable through settlement negotiations and litigation, if necessary. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about your options.