Many personal injury cases seem straightforward. For example, if you were injured in a rear-end automobile collision, then it’s obvious who caused the accident, right?
Maybe not. What if the car crashed into you because the brakes failed? And what if the brakes failed because of a manufacturing or design defect? Justice isn’t being served if you only file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and not the negligent manufacturer. But what if you aren’t aware of the brake issue until after the litigation begins?
Luckily, there are legal procedures in Louisiana that allow third parties to join a lawsuit after it has already begun. In some cases, the original parties decide to add someone to the litigation, and in other cases, third persons decide that they should be parties to the lawsuit.
Joinder of Parties
“Joinder” happens when the original parties to a lawsuit “join” other people. In Louisiana, a third party will be joined to a lawsuit when:
- Complete judicial relief cannot be accorded among the original parties to the lawsuit unless this person is also a party, or
- This person has a stake in the litigation and he won’t be able to protect his interests unless joined to the lawsuit, or not joining him to the lawsuit will put other parties at risk of inconsistent legal obligations.
There is also a procedure called permissive joinder, which allows multiple parties to be joined to the same lawsuit when:
- There is a “community of interest” between these parties,
- The court has jurisdiction (legal authority) over the individual cases and parties, and
- The actions are “mutually consistent and employ the same form of procedure.”
In the car accident scenario, the plaintiff or defendant might join the brake manufacturer to make sure all of the potentially responsible parties are involved in the lawsuit.
It’s not always easy figuring out who to sue. An experienced attorney can help determine who should be parties to your personal injury lawsuit. If we discover new information along the way, we can make sure relevant parties are joined.
“Intervention” happens when third parties ask to join a lawsuit. People may only intervene in a pending lawsuit when they have a legal interest that is related to the subject of the litigation. Third parties may intervene by:
- Joining with the plaintiff to seek similar legal relief against the defendant,
- Joining with the defendant against the plaintiff’s claims, or
- Opposing both the plaintiff and defendant.
Maybe the intervenor was injured in the same accident as the plaintiff, or the intervenor is the defendant’s parent company and has a financial stake in the outcome. There are many reasons a third party might want to intervene in a pending lawsuit.
Contact Us Today
Contact Patrick Yancey Law Firm today for a free consultation if you are injured because of someone’s negligence. Our experienced attorneys will examine the facts of your case and make sure we’re aware of all the relevant parties. Once all the key players are involved we’ll be able to recover the compensation that you deserve.