What is a Third-Party Claim?
What is a third-party claim? A third-party claim occurs when you file a claim with another party’s insurance company. These claims typically occur in relation to automobile accidents and are one of the more common types of injury claims we see in Houston and the Woodlands.
In this article, the experienced attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta provide an overview of third-party claims. As former insurance attorneys, we have unique insights into how these claims are made and what pitfalls you should avoid.
We are here to help you negotiate your third-party claim. If you have any questions to ask a personal injury lawyer, call us today at 713-224-7644.
The basics of third-party liability in a car accident
If you get into a car accident that was not your fault, you can submit a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider: that is a third-party claim. You are referred to as a “third party” in these situations since you are not affiliated with the insurance company you’re filing the claim to. The at-fault driver’s insurance may help pay for:
- Repairs needed for your vehicle
- Transportation while your car is being repaired
- Medical bills and medical care
- Physical therapy if needed
- Loss of current/future earnings
No-fault vs. at-fault states
When looking for answers to the question, “What is a third-party claim?” readers should keep in mind that not every state handles claims in the same way. With the exception of some “hybrid” states, states typically fall into one of two categories regarding auto insurance claims: at-fault states and no-fault states ().
For example, Florida is a no-fault state –– if a car accident occurs, all drivers must file claims through their own insurance instead of paying the other driver, regardless of who was at fault. This is also known as a first-party claim.
Meanwhile, an at-fault state like Texas (also called a tort state) requires its drivers to carry liability insurance to cover damages for the other driver in case they are at fault in the accident. In other words, in Texas, the at-fault driver in the accident uses their liability insurance to pay for the other party’s medical bills, repairs, and any other expenses owed up to the limits of the policy.
Long story short, in Texas, if the accident is your fault, your insurance has to pay. And if the accident is the other party’s fault, the other driver’s insurance has to pay.
How does a 3rd party claim work?
Expenses can begin to pile up after being involved in a car accident. So, how does a 3rd party claim work in your favor? Third-party claim payments exist so that you or your loved ones don’t have to bear financial burdens due to someone else’s negligence. Insurance companies decide who is at fault based on state laws and the details of the accident.
That said, in order for a third-party claim to go through, the at-fault driver’s insurance company must also agree that the accident was not your fault. This is where having an attorney can come in handy. The other party’s insurance company will likely want to conduct its own investigation to try to prove that your claim is false in order to protect their interests. A car accident lawyer can help you gather the kind of substantial evidence that proves the other policyholder is at fault for the accident so you have a strong case.
In some cases, an at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, or their insurance company seems uncooperative. These are additional examples of when to get an attorney for a car accident.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta can help with your case by helping you navigate trials or negotiate a settlement so you and your loved ones can focus on healing. We will fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
How to file a third-party claim
After you have properly documented the accident scene and gotten the driver’s information, contact an attorney you can trust. This way, an insurance company representative or insurance adjuster can’t twist your words in their favor. Always consult with your attorney first. When you’re ready, you and your attorney can begin discussing if you’d like to file a claim with their insurance company.
Depending on the complexity of the case, there may be little interaction with the driver’s insurance company as they want to protect their own interests. The reality is, dealing with an insurance adjuster can often feel overwhelming and dehumanizing.
As former insurance company defense attorneys, Grimes & Fertitta know the ins and outs of how insurance companies will approach your personal injury case and how to deal with them properly. You don’t have to go through this process alone.
Need to file a third-party claim? Contact a Grimes & Fertitta attorney!
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is a third-party claim?” you are now better equipped to file a third-party claim should you get into an accident. Hire the best personal injury lawyer in The Woodlands, TX or Houston at Grimes & Fertitta. With us, you’re more than just a case number. We will help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call us at 713-224-7644 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.
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