I Was Injured: Who Pays My Bills?
Imagine you’re walking down the road and when suddenly you are hit by a car. After medical treatment Do you know who to file your claim against? Is it your insurance or the driver’s insurance? Now imagine, you were using a equipment at work and were injured. Are you entitled to worker’s compensation only or could you possibly have a claim against the manufacturer of the equipment too if it was faulty?
Third party claims can be complex and confusing, which is why you should always consult an attorney regarding an analysis of your claim. Claims are usually against insurance companies, however, it can be difficult to determine whose insurance company you should file your claim against. An insurance claim can compensate you for the injuries you sustain, your medical bills, lost wages and even emotional trauma. The party whose insurance company you file your case against dictates whether your claim is a first-party claim or a third-party claim.
A third-party claim is filed with the insurance company of another person (example: the driver who hit you) or an entity (such as the manufacturer of equipment you use at work). A first party claim is filed with your own insurance company. An attorney can help you analyze who was at fault to determine how you should move forward. Sometimes you may be advised to open two claims, one against your own insurance company and another against the third party’s insurance company. This usually happens when it is difficult to determine who is at fault.
A third-party claim is filed when your injuries were a result of someone else’s negligence, such as another person who did not stop at a light and hit you or you slipped at a store due to improper maintenance. In this case, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention, even if you are unsure of the severity of your injuries. Some issues may be dormant at first because of adrenaline or confusion in the near-aftermath, so seeking medical attention is a best practice for playing it safe. Don’t forget to take pictures, collect the other person’s name, license plate number, and insurance company information in the case of a car accident. Taking photos, keeping the clothes worn at the time of the injury, and gathering witnesses are also applicable to workers’ compensation claims, and similar situations when an injury occurs. If you caused the accident that injured you, such as passing a red light or slipping on ice on the ground which led to you missing work, usually you would consider filing a first party claim with your insurance company.
If you were injured at work, it is important to know that third-party claims are different from workers’ compensation claims. A workers’ compensation claim is a claim against your employer’s insurance company for the injuries you sustained during the fulfillment of your work duties. A third-party claim is a claim for injuries you sustained at work but against insurance companies of parties that are not employed by your employer. Although your injuries may have occurred during the course of employment, the claim may be against a third party such as a manufacturer of a machine that caused the injury or an independent contractor who was hired by your employer who ended up injuring you. This does not mean that you will not have a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. An attorney may advise you to make two claims, one with your employer for workers’ compensation and another against the third party’s insurance for personal injury.
Contacting a personal injury attorney at the earliest possibility is highly advised because they can help guide you on the proper way to report the incident to insurance companies and all follow-up procedures such as cooperating with claims adjusters, making statements, providing proof, and more. Many insurance companies have time limits on the reporting of incidents which can be as short as 24 hours. Yet, it is never too late to consult an attorney, even if you think you may be late in reporting it, an expert can best advise you on the restrictions of filing your claim. It is advised to store as much information as you can remember and legally obtain because the insurance companies will require in-depth information for a successful claim, and further, this information will also help your attorney in accomplishing the best possible outcome from your claim. Insurance companies usually ask you to make recorded statements about incidents and it is strongly advised to never make recorded statements without first consulting an attorney as your statements could be used against you. Remember, the time limit for filing a claim for your personal injury is two years from the date of the accident, whereas the time limit for property damage is five years. Remember, after an injury is sustained, gather evidence if you are physically able, seek medical attention, and consult an attorney.
If you believe you may have a claim against a third-party or have any questions regarding your injuries, call us at 888.4.HAMMER