By: Sean Chalaki
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Personal Injury Lawyer Explains: What is the difference between a First Party and Third Party Claim?
A Personal Injury Lawyer Explains
When you are involved in an accident there are two major types of auto insurance claims:
a First Party claims and
a Third Party claims.
How do you know which one to file and what is the difference?
First, let us look at the definition of each. “First party” refers to the insurance policy holder. There is no such thing as a “Second party claim”. Then the “Third party” is an outside person or company who is not the insured party or the insurance company.
First Party Claims
First party claims are claims between a policy holder and their own insurance company. No other party is involved and the terms are based on the particular contract you have with your own insurance company (your policy). For example, if a driver hits a pole while driving and it is no one’s fault but their own, then the policy holder will make a claim with their own insurance company under their collision coverage. This is a first party claim.
Or perhaps a fire occurred because a home owner dropped a lit cigarette causing damage to their property. The home owner would make a first party claim between themselves and their own home insurance policy based on the insurance policy they chose before the fire.
Third Party Claims
Third party claims are claims where you attempts to collect compensation for damages caused by someone else. Therefore, you will contact the at-fault party’s insurance company to collect compensation for your injuries. The third party is not making a claim based on his or her own insurance policy—only the insurance policy of the at-fault party. Therefore, it is a third party claim.
For example, imagine Driver #1 is travelling down 635 in North Dallas and suddenly a huge log-hauling truck veers into their lane pushing Driver #1 off the highway and into a ditch causing significant damage and injury to Driver #1. Using an experienced attorney, Driver #1 will likely make a “third party claim” with the insurance company of the log-hauling business. Driver #1 was not a party in the contract between the insurance company and the policy holder, therefore, the truck driver is the third party making it a third party claim.
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident or a car accident, experienced Dallas personal injury attorney Sean Chalaki at the Law Office of Sean Chalaki can help you. Call 972-793-8500.