Understanding Third-Party Claims

By December 28, 2015Personal Injury

St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys - Carey, Danis & LoweHave you been injured in a motor vehicle collision? Were you hurt in an on-the-job accident? Do you believe a piece of defective equipment could be responsible for the injuries and losses you sustained? If any of these have happened to you, it could mean a third party’s negligent actions were responsible.

So, before you call your insurance company or file a personal injury claim, it is critical that you understand the basics in third party claims, and what these legal actions involve. You may be eligible to pursue damages from a liable third party far beyond workers’ compensation, Social Security disability benefits, or other compensation.

What Is a Third Party?

A third party might be an individual, a corporate entity, a manufacturer, a homeowner, or any other party connected to your case – in addition to you and the second party. For example, you were involved in an auto accident caused by another driver. While it could be assumed that the other driver was at fault, it is possible that the vehicle malfunctioned. The brakes may have failed, a tire could have blown out, the accelerator might have malfunctioned, along with a host of other potential defects that could have led to the accident. In this instance, an auto manufacturer or other entity – such as a repair shop that made a mistake – may bear a certain responsibility for the damages in your accident. If a faulty car part is determined to have caused the accident, a third party claim could be filed against the auto manufacturer.

The Right Time to File a Third Party Claim

The victim of an accident – or his or her family – may file a third party claim in cases where either the initial claim failed to cover all economic and noneconomic costs related to the accident, or the type of claim was restricted to only certain benefits.

While workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and partial lost wages for employees who sustain injuries during the course of performing work duties, a third party’s involvement may warrant filing a third party claim. Non-economic damages are not paid to victims of work-related injuries under workers’ compensation.

What Damages Can Be Pursued in a Third Party Claim?

Most people have caps on insurance coverage. If a third party is found to be at fault, a third party claim might allow you to pursue:

  • Future medical bills (surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and other health costs)
  • Past and future lost income
  • Lost earning potential
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Pain and suffering, whether physical, psychological, or emotional
  • Property damage

The circumstances surrounding your accident would also dictate whether you might be eligible to seek punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are monies awarded to a claimant that aren’t meant to compensate for losses, but are instead meant to punish the defendant – and thereby dissuade others from doing the same.

Hire an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries caused by a third party’s negligence, hiring a skilled St. Louis personal injury attorney from Carey, Danis & Lowe could dramatically improve your chances of recovering the maximum possible in damages. Our attorneys have decades of legal experience, and we are committed to seeing justice served. If a third party played a role in causing your accident, we will help you fight to pursue the damages you are entitled to receive from that party. Call us now to get started.