What Is Third-Party Liability in a Car Accident?
“What Is Third-Party Liability in a Car Accident?” Professionals from Buchanan Williams & O’Brien can answer this question and others. Call for a consultation!
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What Is Third-Party Liability?
If you have caused damage to someone else’s property or vice versa, you or the other person at fault may be liable for the damaged property as a third party. In this case, you (the at-fault party) or your insurance company would need to pay to fix the damage.
Third-party liability thus refers to the obligation to compensate a person for damage or injury caused by a vehicle belonging to someone else. In the context of car accidents, it refers to the liability of a driver who causes an accident that damages other vehicles or property. In such cases, the third-party driver would need to pay for the damage they caused.
If you’re in such a position where someone else has caused damage to your car, you might be able to get compensation for the damage. Every US state has laws regulating who is liable in a car accident and how much one can recover as compensation for injuries and damages sustained in a car accident. If you intend to claim compensation from a liable third party, it is important that you’re aware of the legal rules surrounding this issue.
The information provided here offers some insight into the legalities involved in navigating the world of third-party liability claims in Missouri, third-party insurance, and getting compensation. Read on to learn more.
How Do Third-Party Liability Insurance Claims Work?
Third-party liability car insurance is a policy that covers the legal liability for damages to other people and their property in the event of an accident with a negligent third party. Under Missouri law, every motor vehicle driver is required to have third-party liability insurance coverage.
The minimum coverage amount required in Missouri is as follows:
$25,000 per person for bodily injury
$50,000 per accident for bodily injury
$25,000 per accident for property.
This type of liability insurance covers several kinds of damage and expenses after a car accident, including the following:
Pain and suffering
So, if you’ve suffered damage or injury due to the actions of another, you do not have to spend your money on your medical bills or fixing the property damage. Even if you have already done so, you can still file a claim against the at-fault driver or the driver’s insurance company to get compensation. You can contact a skilled car accident attorney to help you understand your options in such circumstances.
Types of Third-Party Insurance Claims
Generally, two types of third-party liability insurance claims could apply in an accident case, depending on the state law where the accident occurred, as follows:
No-Fault Insurance Claim
In a no-fault insurance state, persons who have suffered damage from a car accident are made to pay for all associated expenses from their own insurance liability coverage. In this case, it is irrelevant that another caused the accident.
At Fault Insurance Claim
In an at-fault insurance claim state, the party filing the third-party claim has to show that another caused the accident before they can get compensated. Missouri is an at-fault state, so if you intend to file a third-party insurance claim here, you’ll need to show the auto insurance company proof that the insured driver caused the accident and the injuries you’ve suffered as a result before you can get compensated.
The evidence required could be in the form of police accident reports, medical reports, and bills/receipts. If you’re in the process of filing a claim, you can consult an experienced attorney to help you identify the specific documents and other evidence your case requires.
Can I Get Compensation if I Do Not Have Third-Party Liability Insurance?
If you’re a driver in Missouri, you are required to maintain an auto insurance policy that covers third-party liability. To enforce this requirement, Missouri’s ‘No Pay, No Play‘ law will not allow you to file a claim or suit for compensation for any non-economic loss from an at-fault insured driver if you do not have an insurance policy of your own.
There are some exceptions to this rule though, so if you’re uninsured and have suffered damage due to another person’s fault, you can contact your attorney to assess your case and see if any legal exceptions apply.
What if You Have an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
If you have an accident with an uninsured at-fault driver, do not be worried about being left with a hefty bill. You can file a claim with your auto insurance company to help pay for your injuries and any other damages. You can also file a lawsuit against the uninsured at-fault driver and get compensation through the court’s judgment if the case is successful.
How Can an Attorney Help With a Third Party Liability Claim?
Sometimes even after filing your third-party claim and submitting the required proof/documents to the at-fault driver’s insurer, they may still refuse to pay you for your damages. In that case, you might need to involve your lawyer to help you with the process. The role of your attorney is to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve, and so they can take several steps to achieve this, including:
Making sure that your insurance claim is correctly filed
Negotiating with the insurance company where necessary
Filing a lawsuit against the insurance company or the at-fault driver where necessary and representing you in court during the hearing.
Working with an attorney can make the third-party claims process much less stressful for you and increase your chances of success. Consider speaking with one today.
For questions about getting compensation after an accident, drivers’ personal injury protection coverage, or property damage liability coverage, contact us at the law firm of Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien. We are experienced personal injury lawyers in Missouri and have built a solid reputation for amazing client service over the years. We can answer your questions and help you devise possible solutions for your case.
Our trusted workers’ comp lawyers can also help you get compensation if you’ve been injured at work. You can contact us as soon as possible to speak with one of our lawyers and get started on your case.