My Love Of The Law

Three Different Kinds Of Claims That May Arise Out Of A Personal Injury Lawsuit

by Alan Medina

When you submit a personal injury demand letter, your claim is not the only one that may arise out of the incident. Here are three examples of further claims that other parties may make:

A Counterclaim

When you have submitted your claim to the defendant, he or she may also have some claims arising out of the same incident that caused your injuries. If the defendant files these claims against you, then they are known as counterclaims.

Consider a case where you are injured, and your car is damaged after getting involved in a collision at an intersection. Logically, your next move would be to file a claim against the other motorist if you think he or she caused your injuries. What about if the other motorist was also injured, and he or she also thinks that you caused his or her injuries? He will also make a claim against you, known as a counter-claim.

A Cross-Claim

A cross-claim arises if you have a claim against a person or party on the same side of a lawsuit as you. This means that both of you should either be defendants or plaintiffs. Cross-claims arise when there are multiple parties to a lawsuit either as defendants or as plaintiffs. It only applies if the claim you have against your codefendant or co-plaintiff arose out of the same incident that caused the original claim.

Consider an example where an over speeding car A hits car B, and then both cars hit you. Also, suppose that car A crashes into your rear bumper causing damages, but not a single injury, but car B hits you on the driver's side and breaks your arm. In this case, both you and car B can make claims against car A for damages. However, you can also make a claim against car B for your injuries and damages to the passenger side, known as a cross-claim.

A Third-Party Claim

There are also cases where the person you are accusing of causing your injuries passes the liability to a third party; this is what is known as a third party claim. For the original defendant to do this, there must be a legal reason (such as a contract) allowing him or her to do this.

Take an example where you have filed a medical malpractice claim against a doctor. If he or she believes that his or her employer (the hospital) is to blame, then he or she may make seek to pass the liability of your injuries to the hospital. In this case, the doctor is submitting a third-party claim.

As you can see, it is dangerous to assume that a personal injury claim is straightforward; the rise of other claims may complicate it. This is one of the reasons why you should always have a lawyer like Chiacchia & Fleming LLP handle your personal injury claim.