How to file a third-party car insurance claim?

If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you could submit a third-party auto insurance claim based on the at-fault driver's liability insurance policy. The other driver's insurance company will investigate the accident to determine that their driver was indeed at fault, and negotiations will ensue.

Third-party insurance claims are filed with someone else's insurance company and protect the person who has suffered an injury or loss (both the driver and their passengers) as a cause of the negligent actions of another driver.

In a third-party car insurance claim, the at-fault driver's insurer will only cover damages once the investigations establish that their insured was responsible for the accident, and the reimbursement may not be sufficient to cover the entire loss.

Regardless of fault, your personal injury protection (PIP) helps cover medical expenses up to the coverage limits on your car insurance policy.

The settlement with your insurer can help you pay for your medical bills that your health insurance company does not cover.

In cases when the at-fault driver's coverage limit is not enough to help pay for your repairs, you may be able to use your insurance policy, and the same applies to your related medical expenses.

There are circumstances where you might want to work with your own auto insurance to solve the problem, even if someone else caused the crash:

  • In states with no-fault insurance laws – PIP insurance is required, and you always contact your insurer first for injury claims. Specific qualifications need to be met before using another driver.
  • When the driver is underinsured – if you have it, you could turn to your underinsured motorist coverage that can help with medical bills when the other driver cannot cover them.
  • When you want to handle your car damages directly – collision insurance can help you take care of your damages instead of dealing with the other driver's insurer, which will affect your insurance check.

In general, though, no-fault/PIP claims will only payout between $2,500 and $10,000 per accident. And PIP medical coverage only provides 80% of the total amount of your bills and 60% of your lost wages, up to a $10,000 policy limit.

The most important step following a car accident is to contact your insurer. Regardless of who is at fault, your auto insurer can take care of the proceedings with the other driver's insurance company on your behalf. Fault determined by insurance companies is based on state laws and accident specifics.

How to file a third-party car accident insurance claim in Florida

Perhaps you are a safe driver. But even good drivers can have bad accidents, and one day you may get hurt after another driver crashes into your car. So what can you do after you make a first-party claim with your insurance company, but you cannot get compensation for all your damages stemming from the accident?

If you suffered severe injuries in a Florida car accident, you are not limited to making a PIP claim under your policy. You can hold the at-fault driver responsible for your accident injuries and damages via a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit. When you step outside of the no-fault system and file a third-party claim, pain and suffering and all other available non-economic losses are on the table.

A third-party insurance claim - where you are the third party because you are filing the claim with an insurer you may not have a policy with - is a claim you file with another driver's insurance company.

When the other driver was at fault for the accident, you should:

  • Exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident.
  • Take as many pictures and record as many details related to the accident as you can.
  • File a claim against their insurance company.
  • File a police report and get a copy of it.
  • Send your car for repairs.

The other person's insurer will process the claim but do not count on quick, fair payment. The insurer might investigate the accident to determine that the insured was indeed at fault. You must be prepared to establish that the policyholder was negligent and that this negligence directly caused your injuries and losses.

How to recover more than your auto insurance policy limits in Florida

Before you file a third party auto insurance claim, make sure you can answer the following questions:

  • Can you identify all potentially at-fault parties in your case? Were you thorough when getting information from the other driver at the place of the accident? Did you get details on their insurance carrier and policy number, full name, license plate, driver’s license number? Does the other driver have auto bodily injury liability insurance?
  • Do your injuries meet the threshold set by state law to pursue a liability claim against the person who caused your car accident? Can you prove that your car accident injuries qualify as serious? Have you experienced at least one of the following as a result of the accident?
  • Can you calculate all your losses, evaluate all the expenses you incurred, and gather evidence proving your claim?

How can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary help you?

Dealing directly with another driver's insurer can be complicated. Most probably, the insurer will give you almost immediately a settlement offer.

Do insurers make a fair first settlement offer? Oftentimes, no. Do not sign anything and do not accept any premature settlements. You may be tempted to take those early offers.

But what you do not realize is by doing so, you usually forfeit the right to pursue additional compensation in the future.

As a result, months or years later, you could be forced to pay for your additional accident-related expenses out of your own pocket.

Working with an attorney with extensive experience in third-party auto insurance claims can make a significant difference in how you can investigate and prepare your case and its outcome. Ready for a free, confidential car accident consultation? Call us today for legal advice from a skilled Miami-based car accident attorney.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.