After you get into an automobile accident, you are going to be frustrated, stressed, and confused. We want to help you recover what you are owed to the best of our ability. After the accident, you have the option to file a “first-party claim” with your own insurance company or to file a “third-party claim” with the other driver’s insurance company.
Insurance laws vary between first- and third-party claims, so it is vital that you know your rights and responsibilities for either circumstance. In a first-party claim, you have a direct contract that requires your insurance company to fulfill the conditions previously agreed to in that policy. In a third-party claim, you do not have a direct contract, leaving that insurance company’s main priority and primary obligation with their policyholder.
After taking care of any immediate harm or damage (this includes calling 9-1-1 if there are any injuries), you want to follow a certain set of steps to ensure that you get what you are owed from the other driver. We are here to help you understand what that is and how to do it in the case of a third-party claim.
1) Exchange insurance information with the drivers of any other involved vehicles. Make sure not to leave the scene without exchanging insurance company information, policy numbers (located on your proof-of-insurance card), names, phone numbers, and addresses. It is also important to keep a record of the other vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number, as well as the number of passengers and general details of the accident.
2) File a police report. In Florida, any car accident that involves injuries or damage over $500 must be reported. You should call the local police department, sheriff, or Florida Highway Patrol. If an officer investigates the accident they will file a report on the accident.
3) File an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Now it is time to file your claim. This is how you will get compensated or how you will compensate the other people involved for the financial losses occurring as a result of the accident. During the claims process, the other driver’s insurance company will investigate the claim and, if they determine that their policyholder is legally responsible, they will offer you a settlement. In most cases, you will need to sign a “release for damages” before the insurance company will settle your claim. This release shows that you agree that the amount you are receiving is all you will ever receive from either the driver or the insurance company. Do not sign the release if you are not ready to accept a final amount
For Your Reference: What if my claim is denied?
Unfortunately, there is no appraisal requirement in this situation. If the other driver’s insurance company denies your claim or you do not agree with the offer they provide you, your next course of action can be:
a) File a claim with your own insurance provider (if you have appropriate coverage).
b) File a legal suit against the responsible driver in court.
c) Seek legal counsel. A judge or jury can legally decide who was at fault and how much money is owed.