Parties in the Civil Action
The victim who files a lawsuit is called a plaintiff. If two victims suffer injury or loss due to the same accident, they can file a single lawsuit together. The party against whom suit is filed is called a defendant. If multiple parties contributed to causing the plaintiff’s losses, they are all named in the single action. If a defendant is the sole target of a lawsuit, but he or she believes that outside parties contributed to causing the plaintiff’s damages, he or she may file a third-party action and thereby bring the outside party into the initial lawsuit as a codefendant.
It is essential to identify and name all parties when filing the initial lawsuit. This is especially true when suit is filed close to the statutory deadline. For example, if a defendant driver causes a serious accident and the defendant was working for a large corporation when the accident happened, the plaintiff can collect from the defendant driver and from the corporation that employed the defendant. However, if the plaintiff files suit close to the three-year deadline and names only the defendant driver, and if the suit filing deadline passes before the employer corporation is named in the action, the plaintiff loses the right to file any action or collect any compensation from the corporation. File your action early, and use the court’s discovery tools to identify all necessary parties. This allows ample time to include all parties and all insurance carriers who might be responsible to pay for all injury and accident claims.