Last blog, we explained Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and how it can help you if you are in an automobile accident. PIP is a form of first-party coverage, which means that the coverage exists with your own insurance carrier. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may also have a claim against the insurance carrier of someone else who was involved in the accident—this is known as a third-party claim.
A third-party claim exists when someone else is liable for your damages and there is an insurance policy which covers that liability. For example, suppose that a driver runs a stop light and collides with your vehicle. Because the driver was negligent in running the stop light, they are liable to pay for the damages which their negligence caused (damage to your vehicle, your medical expenses, lost wages, etc.). As long as the other driver had liability insurance, you will file a claim with their insurance company, rather than suing the driver directly. The claim that you file is known as a third-party claim. Third-party claims are usually more complicated than first-party claims. Because first-party claims are with your own insurance carrier, your carrier’s desire to retain you as a customer can affect how they handle your claim. In addition, first-party claims generally depend mainly on the terms of your policy — if the policy covers the loss, you get paid—whereas third-party claims often depend heavily on both policy terms and a host of legal theories related to liability. This added complexity can make third-party claims more difficult to prove, and consequently, can make them more likely to require formal litigation to enforce.
If you are in need of a Personal Injury Attorney, call our offices for a no fee consultation. We will explain your rights and give you comfort of knowing we will be there every step of the way.
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