An accident can happen to anyone, and by that same token, an accident can be caused by anyone too. That's why insurance exists—to provide for people who have been injured and to protect people who've accidentally caused injury to someone else. In fact, when we purchase car insurance, there are two types of protection we typically need: collision coverage and liability coverage.
When attorneys talk about "first party" vs "third party" claims, that's what we're referring to: the kind of protection a particular claim falls under. If you're injured in a car accident claim and you file a claim with your insurer under your comprehensive coverage policy, then you're filing a first-party insurance claim. If you file a claim under the other driver's liability protection policy, then you're filing a third-party insurance claim.
Should I File a First-Party Claim or a Third-Party Claim?
That depends on your situation. If it was a single-vehicle accident or if you're found at fault for the accident, the only way you'll be able to recover is under a first-party claim. However, if the other driver is at fault or your injuries were clearly caused by someone else's negligence, you may have a strong third-party claim under the other driver's insurance.
Typically, injured drivers are able to file both first-party and third-party claims. If another driver's insurer is forcing you to go to court, then a first-party claim might be a good way to recover some of what you need until you can get full compensation in your personal injury case. Additionally, if the other party's insurance coverage isn't enough to cover your damages, you could file a first-party claim with your own insurer to make up the difference.
In the end, your best option will be determined by the specifics of your case. To know what you should do or how you should file, speak with an attorney at Clayton, Frugé & Ward today. Our Louisiana car accident lawyers can discuss your legal options and help you take the next step.
Call (225) 209-9943 today for a free, confidential consultation today.