Sustaining an injury or property damage often leads to individual recovering compensation through a settlement or as a result of a personal injury lawsuit. The route toward recovering this compensation usually comes through a first-party claim or a third-party claim, but understanding the difference between these two types of claims is important.
What is a First-Party Claim?
A first-party claim is one file between an individual policyholder and a second-party insurance provider. Individuals typically file first-party insurance claims with their own insurance company after a collision occurs on the roadway. A first-party claim is typically not considered a civil personal injury lawsuit, though these claims could eventually lead to that.
Some examples of first-party claim compensation include:
- Coverage of medical bills associated with an incident
- Property damage repairs
- Reimbursement for rental vehicles
- Compensation for lost wages
Insurance is a contract between a policyholder and the insurance provider. When an individual files a legitimate claim with their insurance company, the carrier should honor the agreement. However, that does not necessarily mean that a first-party claim will be easy. Insurance carriers do not like to pay out compensation, and they could put up a fight.
What is a Third-Party Claim?
Third-party claims involve more than just an individual and an insurance carrier. These involve three separate parties:
- The insured first party
- The insurance carrier second party
- A third party that could include other drivers or insurance carriers
Third-party claims involve another individual or entity that is not the policyholder or the insurance company. Third-party claims typically involve having to prove the negligence of a third party in order to recover compensation. In many cases, a third-party claim could lead directly to a civil personal injury lawsuit. Some of the most common third-party claims include the following:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck or bus accidents
- Dog bite claims
- Defective product claims
- Slip and fall accidents
Will You Need an Attorney to Recover Compensation?
Recovering compensation through a first or third-party claim can be challenging, and this may require assistance from an attorney. Even though individuals often think that their insurance carrier will look out for their best interests, that is not necessarily the case. Even though you have a contract with your insurance carrier, their goal is to make a profit, and paying out compensation for your claim ultimately reduces the amount of money they have on hand. Insurance carriers are notorious for making low settlement offers. An attorney can help individuals recover compensation even against their own insurance carrier.
For third-party claims, it is even more crucial to consider working with an attorney. When you file a claim against a third party, they are under no obligation to look out for your best interests at all. When you work with a skilled personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, you have an advocate by your side who can investigate the incident, prove liability, and then stand up to all other parties involved. This can include standing up to other insurance carriers or at-fault parties and their legal teams.