When a person files a personal injury lawsuit, they become a plaintiff. The party that the plaintiff is suing becomes a defendant. The defendant must file an answer to the complaint within a specific number of days. They can also file a counter complaint, which is a lawsuit against the plaintiff, or a cross-complaint, which is a complaint against another defendant. The defendant may also be obligated to or wish to file a third party complaint.
What Is a Third Party Complaint?
A third party complaint is a lawsuit passing liability for a personal injury claim from the defendant to another person or company. This type of lawsuit arises when a third party promises to assume liability from the defendant or financially compensate the defendant if they are sued.
Is the Third Party Directly Connected to the Lawsuit?
In most cases, the third party is not already directly connected to the lawsuit. The third party may not have been present at the time of the accident or otherwise know of its occurrence.
Does the Third Party Named in the Lawsuit Need to File an Answer?
Yes. The third party will be required to file an answer in response to the third party complaint. If the third party does not file an answer, the defendant will probably be awarded a default judgment.
What Happens If the Defendant Is Found Liable?
If the defendant is found to be liable in the primary case, the judge will then determine if the third party is liable for covering the plaintiff’s award on behalf of the defendant.
Should I Contact a Lawyer about a Third Party Complaint?
Third party complaints are difficult to understand. Contact a personal injury attorney to understand more about your legal rights and options.