If you’ve been hurt in an accident, there may be grounds to file a personal injury claim. If this is the case, there are several steps you’ll need to take to work towards receiving the compensation you need to recover. In many personal injury cases, insurance companies are involved. What you may not realize, however, is that the type of claim you file could change depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
If you’ve been injured, you may need to file either a first-party or third-party claim. In some cases, you may need to file both. Understanding the difference is an important part of building a successful case for yourself. Our attorneys will not only explain the difference, but we’ll make sure the appropriate claim is filed for your unique situation, so your chances of maximizing your compensation increase.
First-Party Insurance Claims
When you purchase a policy to cover damages and losses to your own person or personal property, that is considered first-party insurance. The policyholder could be a company, individual, or group of individuals like employees of a company or the family of a vehicle.
Examples of first-party insurance claims include:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Health Insurance
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
- Renter’s Insurance
When a first-party insurance claim is filed, the insured makes a claim directly against his own insurance company. The compensation eligibility is determined by the terms of the contract. The relationship between the insured party and the insurance company must be in good faith and is regulated by the state.
In regard to personal injury cases, first-party insurance claims are commonly filed by car accident victims when the negligent driver commits a hit-and-run.
If the insurance company fails to honor the terms of their own contract, they’d be breaching their duty and violating the established terms of the agreement. Not only could the insurer be fined by the state, but the policyholder would have the right to take legal action against the company.
Third-Party Insurance Claims
Third-party insurance is purchased to protect the policyholder in the event they harm another person or that person’s property. As with first-party insurance, policyholders can be companies, individuals, or groups of individuals.
Examples of third-party insurance claims include:
- Auto Liability Insurance
- Homeowner’s Liability Coverage
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Liability Coverage
- Product Liability Insurance
The first party is the insured individual, the second party is the insurance company, and the third party is the injured individual. A third-party insurance claim is filed by the injured party against the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The most common type of third-party claim is a liability claim. If, for example, you’re injured on someone’s property because they failed to properly maintain their grounds or fix hazards, you can file a claim against their homeowner’s policy.
While the compensation for first-party insurance claims is limited to the terms of the policy, this is not the case with third-party terms. Because the third party is not under contractual obligations, they can make claims for things that are not typically covered under the insurance policy. These losses typically include medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Understanding the Claims Process
Regardless of the type of claim you need to file to recover your losses, it’s important to work with experienced legal representation. There are many steps to filing a claim, and each one needs to be handled correctly in order for your claim to be successful.
Our attorneys will examine your situation, investigate the incident that caused your injuries, collect the evidence needed to prove you’re owed compensation, and calculate the monetary recovery you should receive. Negotiations are often necessary with the insurance company, but it’s rare for personal injury claims to go to trial.
Because of how complex the personal injury recovery process is, it’s best to work with a law firm. Often times, insurance companies try to offer lowball settlements because they don’t have the best interests of their policyholders in mind. They’re only concerned about maintaining and improving their bottom line. The Law Office of Todd W. Burris can help you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries and accident-related losses.
We have extensive experience negotiating settlement agreements, and we’ll fight to ensure you receive the amount you deserve and need. The sooner you start your claim, the faster you’ll have access to the money you need. To get started, contact our office today. We’ll schedule a free consultation so we can go over the details of your case and help you determine how best to proceed based on your unique circumstances.