When a car accident happens, it’s often assumed that liability is a driver-versus-driver issue. However, in quite a few cases, there is the issue of third party liability. “Third party” is anyone other than the two drivers. This can complicate the settlement process, as you must first determine who you can sue.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, turn to Reeves & Mestayer for the representation and support you need. Call us at 1-855-558-2977 to set up a free consultation.
What is a Third Party Accident?
A third party accident is one in which liability is either entirely on a party besides the two drivers or when liability is shared between a driver and another party. This type of claim may include any number of other individuals or companies, including:
- Passengers. When a passenger causes an accident by grabbing the steering wheel, distracting the driver to the point of creating a dangerous situation, or otherwise putting the driver at risk, they may be liable for the accident.
- Vehicle Owners. In some cases, the owner of the vehicle is a separate person from the driver of the vehicle. The owner may be responsible if they allowed an impaired driver to drive their vehicle, knowingly let an unsafe or unlicensed driver take control of their vehicle, or otherwise failed to secure their vehicle. These cases are highly dependent on the details, so it’s important to discuss your options with an attorney.
- Vehicle Manufacturers or Component Manufacturers. Cars and their components are subject to manufacturing or design errors. If an accident is caused by a malfunctioning vehicle component or an aspect of the vehicle’s design, the injured parties may have a valid claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or the manufacturer of the individual component.
- Repair Professionals. Poorly done repairs or repairs that used the wrong components could put you at risk of an accident. When an accident inevitably occurs, anyone who sustained injuries during the crash could seek compensation from the repair shop responsible for the faulty repairs.
- Alcohol Providers. Impaired drivers are, of course, liable for the accidents they cause. However, if they were overserved at a bar or restaurant, they may not be the only party with liability. The facility that irresponsibly served them alcohol could be partially liable for the victim’s injuries.
Determining liability in a third party accident can be more complicated than figuring out liability when only the drivers are at fault. The more parties you bring into the case, the easier it is for every party involved to point fingers and try to absolve themselves of blame. Because of this, you can’t really trust any information you get from any of the other party’s insurers. If they point you in the direction of another party, ensuring you that you’ll get compensation from them, their goal is not to help you; it’s to limit their own client’s liability.
This is why you need an attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve in a vehicle accident. They do not have any loyalty to any of the other parties in the case, so their only goals are to find the truth and get you the compensation you are owed. Look for an attorney with substantial experience with accidents similar to yours. Going up against multiple liable parties and holding them accountable is a big task, and you need an attorney who is aggressive enough to keep going until they’ve gotten what you deserve.
The compensation you receive for an accident may vary, depending on the circumstances of the accident. The more severe your injuries are, the more compensation you could be entitled to. Unfortunately, this also means that the insurance company will fight even harder against a fair settlement, highlighting the need for an attorney. You may seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses, both current and future
- Lost wages and lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Turn to Reeves & Mestayer for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
Our firm’s goal is to help accident victims get the full and fair compensation they deserve after a crash. Wherever you are in the claim process, we’re ready to get started. To learn more about your options, call us at 1-855-558-2977 or contact us online.