In theory, people hurt in motor vehicle collisions have basic legal protections in Texas. They can rely on the other driver having liability insurance that will pay to repair their vehicle. If the damage to the vehicle is severe and will compromise its overall safety, insurance funds can go toward the purchase of a replacement vehicle instead of repairs.
Severe injuries can cost many times what property damage will cost, even if the vehicle involved is brand new. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, for example, could easily lead to seven-figure price tags for someone’s lifetime medical treatment.
Those facing life-altering medical issues related to a car crash may need to look into all possible sources of compensation, including a third-party liability claim.
What is a third-party liability claim?
Most crashes involve two drivers and therefore two parties that could be responsible for the wreck. However, there are situations in which a third party not present in either vehicle is technically liable for the crash or at least partially responsible for what happened.
For example, in a crash where one driver failed to stop in time, rear-ending the other vehicle and causing a severe neck injury, the driver who hit the other vehicle would be liable for the crash. Their insurance would pay for the other driver’s care, and they might face a civil lawsuit in some cases.
However, perhaps there was an issue with their brakes because of a defect in their relatively new vehicle, or maybe the defect was with your vehicle because the brake lights shorted out and did not alert the other driver to your reduced speed in time. If an automotive manufacturer releases a vehicle with defective design or faulty components, they might face a third-party liability claim.
A mechanic that serviced a vehicle and made a mistake that resulted in vehicle systems failing on the road could also have some liability for a crash. Employers that hire drivers could be responsible in some cases because of negligent employment practices or improper maintenance of their fleet vehicles.
Why third-party claims help
When an individual driver’s insurance and personal assets are not sufficient to cover someone’s collision costs, third-party claims help by introducing a new pool of assets and potentially additional Insurance coverage.
Businesses often have protection against claims related to defective products or injuries caused by their workers while performing job functions. Businesses will also have resources that can help pay individual plaintiffs after a civil lawsuit.
Those struggling with the idea of lifetime medical expenses and lost income may find that third-party claims help them more fully cover the expenses caused by a recent wreck. Knowing what options you have after a Texas car crash will help limit the lasting consequences of that collision on you and your family.