An insurance policy is essentially a contract. With that comes some confusing language that can make it difficult for the average person to understand their coverage. Insurance agents or adjusters might use terms like “Personal Injury Protection” or “Bodily Injury” that leave you confused and unsure how to proceed if you’ve been in an accident.
The Florida accident attorneys of Goldman & Daszkal believe in education and transparency. We want people to better understand their coverage and their rights. In this blog, we’ll explain the difference between first-party and third-party liability insurance and how to know when to get an attorney involved.
First-Party Insurance Explained
To help you better understand the various parties involved in an insurance claim, we’ll use the example of an auto accident. Some car accidents involve only one driver. For example, a motorist is driving during a rainstorm, hydroplanes, and hits a light post. In this case, the motorist would file a claim to repair the damage to their vehicle against their own insurance policy. Because the motorist is the one who holds the insurance policy with the company, this is a first-party insurance claim.
Third-Party Liability Insurance Explained
When another car is involved in an auto accident, there is now a third party involved. Let’s say a driver hits another car due to not paying attention or some other form of negligent behavior while on the highway. The motorist that was hit in the accident sustains serious injuries and pursues damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Now, there are three parties involved:
- The motorist who was not paying attention or negligent
- The at-fault motorist’s insurance company
- The other driver who was the victim in the accident
Because the victim of the accident does not hold the insurance policy, this is considered a third-party insurance claim. A third party claim is possible in Florida if the victim of the car accident has damages to their vehicle or sustained a permanent injury as a result of the accident.
Serious injuries, such as loss of a bodily function or significant scarring, can lead to a strong personal injury case. However, the injury does not necessarily need to be severe in order for you to receive compensation. If you’ve experienced any amount of pain or injury after an accident, it never hurts to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights.
What Damages Can a Third-party Liability Insurance Claim Cover?
There are two main categories under which a victim can seek compensation in a third-party insurance claim. These categories include:
- Special damages or monetary and financial losses: this includes financial strains the victim experienced due to the accident, including medical expenses and lost wages.
- General Damages or pain and suffering/emotional distress: victims of accidents can suffer greatly due to their injuries and deserve to seek compensation for that pain and suffering. Some of that suffering may even be in the form of emotional distress, such as anxiety or depression related to the accident.
How a Florida Accident Attorney Can Help
Insurance companies hire adjusters and attorneys to help negotiate settlements with victims of accidents and it is their job to minimize the risk to their insured, even if that means not disclosing certain coverage or liability issues. That puts the victim at a disadvantage when trying to negotiate a fair settlement. After all, the insurance company is interested in reducing their financial burden from the accident by convincing you to settle for as little money and as quickly as possible.
That’s why it is so important for victims to hire a Florida accident attorney to file a third-party liability insurance claim. Having a good attorney on your side can be the difference between the insurance company taking your claim seriously—and you receiving only the minimum compensation for the terrible ordeal you’ve been through.
At Goldman & Daszkal, we know how to handle third-party liability insurance cases. We will represent you fiercely and fairly. Our team is responsive, caring, and dedicated, offering you personal legal representation when and where you need it. Whether it’s a car accident, motorcycle accident, premises liability, slip and fall, or elder law case, we’ll be your steadfast legal team ready to help and guide you. Contact us today for a free consultation.