The person who committed the acts is not the only person who can be named in a civil lawsuit. The victim may also choose to name a third party, such as a school, a company, or an institution where the assailant worked or lived, who may also be responsible. One strategic reason for doing this is to ensure some monetary compensation when the perpetrator has little or no assets. While most incidents giving rise to personal injuries are covered by insurance policies, such as car accidents and slip and fall incidents, insurance policies exclude coverage for intentional acts. Pursuing a third party under a theory of negligence may be the only source of compensation if the perpetrator has few personal assets.

Examples of claims against a “third party” include a claim against an employer who failed to properly screen or monitor an employee who sexually assaulted a person,  or a claim against a landlord, business, church or other religious institution, government entity, school, or hospital, who negligently supervised a person or employee or failed to provide adequate security.