Determining Whether To File A First Or Third Party Car Accident Claim.
If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you may know that you are entitled to file a car accident claim with an insurance company immediately following the accident. What you may not be aware of is the different processes there are in place to file these claims depending on whether you are filing a claim with your own insurance company, or the other party’s insurance company.
Key factor to remember here is to know who is at fault for the accident. You only make a claim with your own insurance company if you were at fault for the accident. You should NOT make a claim on your own insurance policy if the other/third party is at fault. When you file a claim with your own personal insurance company, this is known as a ‘first party’ claim. A ‘third party’ claim is when you need to make a claim with the other/third party’s insurance company, and NOT with your own. By knowing the differences between these claims, you may save yourself money on your insurance premiums and receive more money on your insurance settlement package (compensation).
When making a car accident claim with your own insurance company, you will be put in contact with a claims adjustor who is assigned to your car accident claim. The claims adjustor will file a claim under the collision section of your insurance policy. The claims adjustor will either have you go into a repair garage where they can estimate the damage done to your vehicle, or they may visit you at your home. Your insurance company may mail you a cheque for the amount of the estimate, or they may make the payment directly to the vehicle repair garage. Depending on your insurance policy, you may be eligible for a rental vehicle while your car in being repaired. One crucial thing to remember is that you are NOT permitted to make a personal injury claim for yourself if you have been injured in the car accident. A first party claim is made by a policy holder to his or her own insurance company. These claims are contractual; meaning that they arise out of a contract (the insurance policy) between the insurance company and the policy holder. On the other hand any passengers who were travelling with you may make a claim for personal injury against you on your own insurance policy, so this means that you cannot make a claim on your own insurance policy for personal injury but others can (passengers or anyone else that was involved/affected by the accident).
If you are involved in an accident where the other/third party as at fault, you will be dealing with their insurance when filing your car accident claim. If you are dealing with property damage, the third party’s insurance will often have you get estimates on your damage. When it comes to paying for your damages, however, the insurance company will most likely send a cheque to the vehicle repair garage that is performing the repairs. The other party’s insurance company will cover a rental car for you to use while your car is being repaired.
If you are making an injury claim with the third party’s insurance company, then you will need to go through another process to receive a medical injury settlement. The insurance company will evaluate your doctor’s report as well as the original police report and determine a settlement based on what they find. If you choose to accept the settlement, you may be directed to sign a release stating that you are accepting the settlement. By signing this release you are waiving your rights to sue the insurance company for an unfair settlement or additional money at a later date. If new information presents itself regarding your injuries, you are still not able to receive additional compensation if you have signed the waiver.
Before you sign any documents, it is always a good idea to have a trusted accident claim solicitor look over the car accident claim or deal with your claim from the very start to ensure that you receive a pair settlement and get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Insurance companies will try to undervalue your claim to save themselves money so appointing an accident solicitor for your car accident claim from the very start is vital. Unless you are thoroughly knowledgeable on the subject, having an expert ‘hand’ in on the matter can be extremely helpful. Not only will the solicitor make sure that you have submitted your claim correctly, they will make sure that you are getting the maximum benefits possible from the insurance company on your car accident claim.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to take the right steps when making your car accident claim. Now you can determine whether to make a first party claim with your own insurance company or third party claim with the other driver’s insurance company.