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Coping With Legal Issues

When I started getting into trouble I became pretty acclimated to legal procedures. Calling my attorney and working out bail was just another way to spend a Saturday night. Unfortunately, the stiffer the charges, the more difficult it was to talk my way out of a bad situation. After so many charges, I found myself slapped with a long jail sentence, and I realized that I wanted to turn things around. Fortunately, my lawyer was able to walk me through yet another process, so that I could make the right changes. My blog discusses how to emotionally cope with legal issues so that you can start living a good life.



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Coping With Legal Issues

Car Accident - Which Party Will You File

by Lillian Wheeler

If you are like most people who have been involved in an auto accident, after the accident, you are concerned with returning everything back to the way it has been in the past. After making sure that your physical injuries are taken care of, you then have to figure out how your vehicle will be repaired, or replaced. What you probably do not realize is, there are two ways to file your accident claims. How you file, will determine who will pay for the charges that are involved.

How Many Parties Are Involved?

The number of parties that are involved in your auto accident, as well as who is at fault, will help you to determine which type of claim to file. For example, if it is a one car accident, you are the only party involved. Any claims that are filed as a result of your accident, would have to be filed with your insurance company.

On the other hand, if you are involved in an accident with another party, and that party is at fault, you will have the option of filing under your insurance, or filing under the other party's insurance. If it is determined that you are at fault, the other driver will have this same option, but you will only have the option to file under your insurance.

What Are First And Third Party Claims?

When you file under your insurance, this is called a first party insurance claim. These claims are not only filed when you are at fault, but can also be filed if the other driver does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages.

When you file under the other driver's insurance, this is considered to be a third party insurance claim. When you file a third party claim, you are able to recover many other types of damages then you can when you file a first party claim.

First Party Claims

  • Your claim will be paid under your Personal Injury or Medical Payment coverage included in your policy.
  • These coverages have limits as to the type of expense they will cover, as well as the amount of coverage they will provide. Many times if you have suffered a very serious injury a first party claim will not fully reimburse you for all of your expenses. Of course, this is determined by the limits within your policy.
  • Working with your insurance company is usually pretty cut and dry. Once they have determined the amount of damages that you have incurred they will pay out up to your policy limits. You will be required to pay any deductibles that are a part of your policy.

Third Party Claims

  • The claims are paid out of the liability portion of their policy. All states require licensed drivers to have some type of liability insurance, or to post a liability bond.
  • Filing a third party claim is not as cut and dry as it may be when filing with your own insurance company.
  • You will be required to submit additional documentation, over what will be required with a first party claim.
  • Filing a third party claim will take more time than filing with your insurance company.

What Are The Advantages To Filing A Third Party Claim?

The advantage to filing a third party claim is that you will be able to file for economic, as well as non-economic damages.:

Economic damages include:

  • All medical expenses - including prescription drug cost, rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, and other medical treatments as deemed necessary by your treating physician.
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments.
  • Homemaker services - to assist you to do the necessary household things that you need to do but are unable to. These homemaker services may include, but are not limited to someone to assist with cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.
  • Lost Wages - this is for reportable income from a job that you already have. While final payment may include a payout based on lost future earnings, these would be recovered as a result of a lawsuit which is filed due to the accident.

Third party insurance claims will also cover non-economic damages. These are much harder to prove and place a monetary amount on. Some of these are:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

If you anticipate filing a third party claim, you must first give notice by contacting the insurance company and notifying them that you have a claim. If you did not exchange information at the scene of the accident, the other party's insurance information should be listed in the police report. Your first notification will be done by making a telephone call to the company. Follow up this notification with a notification in writing, so that you will have proof. Send it snail mail with return receipt requested. If you anticipate filing a third party claim, contact a car accident attorney. With the experience that they have in the field, they know what you can ask for, and will have an idea of what your claim is worth. Do not short change yourself, by trying to do it on your own.