LegalEagleStar

… a kind of Legal Column

Mary wants to know what a 3rd. Party Notice is ?

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10 car pile up

Image by jaywood_uk via Flickr

Q:    My name is Mary and I was served with something called a 3rd Party Notice today and I don’t really understand what it is? There was a car accident about two years ago where there was a bit of a pile up situation. I stopped at a traffic light and the car behind my car hit me and the car behind that hit him. I think the individual in the third car was injured because if I remember correctly an ambulance was called. The damage to my car was minimal and I never made a claim. Upon reading the documents I was served with today I believe the individual in the third vehicle is suing the man in the second or middle vehicle for personal injuries and some other reliefs and now that man who is called the Defendant is suing me. I’m a bit confused as I stopped safely at the traffic lights and the car behind me, clearly didn’t notice the lights had changed and broke suddenly which it seems caused a domino effect. What do these documents mean and do I have to go to Court?


A:  Mary this is called third party procedure. The Defendant, the man in the second car, believes you to be at fault in the accident and believes you are the correct defendant. What would have occurred so far is that the Plaintiff, the individual in the third car, has brought proceedings against the defendant. The defendant would then have brought a motion to issue and serve a third party notice on you. The Plaintiff did not have to attend this motion unless they wished to add you as a co-defendant and they obviously did not wish to pursue this. Effectively there are now two sets of proceedings in place. The first is between the Plaintiff and Defendant and if that case proceeds and the Defendant is found liable, then the second case between the Defendant and you as the third party takes place. Ultimately, at this point, the Defendant becomes the Plaintiff and you, the third party, become the Defendant. At this point where, we are presuming the Defendant is held liable for the accident, the court will access if all or any of that accident was your fault and a percentage of liability anywhere between 0% and 100% could be apportioned for blame.

What I would advise you to do Mary is contact a solicitor to discuss the matter fully with them and give your full account of the accident as you recall it. I would advise you to do this immediately as you have just ten days from service of the third party notice upon you, which is today, to make an appearance. You can do this yourself if you wish but your instructing solicitor can do this for you also and then they will become the solicitors on record for you and contact the other parties on your behalf to discuss the case.

LegalEagleStar,  Wednesday 20th.  April,  2011.

Written by LegalEagleStar

April 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm

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