Can you sue a third party for personal injury?

6 Feb, 2015
By: Donald W Fohrman
Can you sue a third party for personal injury?

Claims against insurance companies

When people are involved in a car crash, a common first step is filing claims with all applicable insurance companies. According to FindLaw, these claims are considered either first party or third party. A first-party claim is a claim against a person’s own insurance policy, and it is generally filed by the driver who was responsible for the accident. A third-party claim is filed with the insurance carriers of the other parties involved in the accident. When people do not believe they caused their accidents, they will commonly file a third-party claim.

It may be possible to receive a fair settlement through a third-party claim. However, should the insurance company deny a victim’s claim, that person may have the option of pursuing personal injury litigation against the insurance company.

Claims against a business that employed a negligent driver

A Springfield car accident lawyer would be aware that, under certain circumstances, third-party lawsuits may also be filed against businesses that employed negligent workers. For example, if a delivery truck driver causes a crash while under the influence of alcohol, the company that employs that driver may be held legally accountable for any injuries that resulted from the accident. Such litigation is possible through the use of the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, which Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute describes as a type of third party liability that may be applicable if an employee behaved negligently while operating within the scope of his or her employment.

Statutes of limitations for third-party insurance lawsuits

According to the Illinois Department of Insurance, statutes of limitation exist for legal claims against car insurance companies. Lawsuits for bodily injury must be filed within two years of the accident date, and lawsuits for property damage must be filed within five years of the accident date. However, these statutes may be different if the victim was less than 18 years old at the time of the accident or if the claim is against a government entity.

Third-party liability claims offer additional options for the victims of car crashes to collect compensation for their injuries, providing these individuals with additional financial means to put the accident behind them and move on with their lives. Those who have been in a car accident may want to speak with a Springfield car accident lawyer to gain a better understanding of third-party liability claims and any other legal paths that may provide them with the compensation they need.

Category: Personal Injury

About The Author

Photo of Donald W Fohrman
After completing law school Donald became an assistant Attorney General for 7 years and was assigned to the Industrial Commission Division. During that time he spent evenings establishing his own firm. Donald became a founding partner of a large workers’ compensation/personal injury firm but decided to leave the firm in 1990 to start a smaller “boutique” firm with the belief that bigger isn’t always better!
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