A third party claim or lawsuit is a claim filed by the defendant against another party. Such a claim may be filed during an active personal injury lawsuit or following the conclusion of a claim in which the defendant is found liable for the damages in the case.
In a standard personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff names a defendant or defendants as responsible for injuries suffered. The plaintiff attempts to prove the defendant is liable or responsible for his or her injuries. If successful, the defendant may be required to pay damages to the defendant for the injuries suffered.
In a third party claim, the defendant names another party as fully or partially responsible for the injuries the plaintiff suffered. In such a claim, the defendant attempts to show the third party’s negligence is actually what led to, or at least contributed to, the plaintiff’s injuries.
An example of a third party claim would be a personal injury lawsuit in which a claimant holds a manufacturer of a product responsible for injuries that resulted from failure to warn about a potential danger associated with the product. In such a case, the manufacturer may file a third party claim against the designer of the product. The claim may argue that the designer failed to disclose a potential danger associated with the actual design of the product, or that the designer was neglect in the selection of materials, for example.
Third party lawsuits are common, especially in cases where damages are awarded to the plaintiff. The defendant, in an effort to recover from paying out damages to the plaintiff attempts to recover damages of their own to cover the loss.