What is third-party liability?
When another driver crashes into your car and injures you, you may want to initiate a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, unless the driver is uninsured, you will go through third-party liability to retrieve your damages.
If you’ve gotten injured in a crash, and the crash was not your fault, then you’ll need legal help. You can check out Haug Law Group’s Personal Injury Legal Definitions and Terms page, learn more about liability and accidents, and then call us when you’re ready to start your lawsuit.
The Definition of Third-Party Liability
Third-party liability, also called legal liability coverage, will cover you if you’re at fault for an accident or you damage somebody else’s property. It will cover the settlement, legal fees, and other expenses if somebody decides to sue you.
If you’re the plaintiff in an accident, then you could go after the defendant’s insurance company to get the settlement you need. Typically, people buy this kind of coverage on their home or renter’s insurance policies as well as their car insurance policies.
Drivers need to get third-party liability coverage that will be high enough to cover extensive damages. If they don’t have enough coverage, then they will have to pay the remainder of the settlement out of pocket. This could cause financial issues or bankruptcy if they just don’t have the money.
Each state has its own policy coverage minimums. For Georgia, it’s the following:
- Bodily injury liability is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability is $25,000 per accident
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- Uninsured motorist property damage is $25,000 with a $250, $500, or $1,000 deductible
Having the minimum amount of insurance may not protect you if you’re to blame for an accident. You could have a liability limit of at least $1 million for your car insurance just to be safe. Your monthly premium may be higher, but it would be well worth it should an accident occur.
What To Do if a Driver Is Uninsured
Let’s say you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. It’s still a good idea to do what you would if a driver was insured: collect their name and phone number and take photographs of their car, driver’s license, and license plate.
Then, you can report the accident to your insurance. You may be able to get something if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This kind of coverage will protect you and passengers in your car if:
- An uninsured driver hits and injures you
- A driver doesn’t have high enough liability coverage to pay for your medical bills
- A driver’s insurance company denies coverage or they are not in business anymore
You can also initiate a personal injury lawsuit and sue the at-fault driver if they don’t have insurance. But even if you win damages, you may not be able to claim them. Chances are if a driver doesn’t have insurance coverage, then they also won’t have the assets to pay you what you deserve.
Instead, it’s always best to go through your insurance coverage. If your provider is not offering you a settlement or the settlement is too low, you can always call a personal injury lawyer to help you.
How To Collect a Settlement from Insurance
The best way to go about collecting a settlement from insurance is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Send them all the evidence that you have from your accident, and then they will get to work and try to get a settlement for you. The settlement will come out of that third-party liability coverage.
The evidence should include photographs from the scene of the accident, damage to your personal belongings, and your injuries. Include witness statements, medical records, and notes about what you remember. If you saw any cameras that may have captured the incident, your lawyer might be able to retrieve that footage and use it to leverage a settlement.
After an accident, you may get a call from the other party’s insurance company. They’ll ask you for details about what happened and if you have any injuries. Give as little information as possible and simply confirm that an accident occurred, as well as the location, time, and date that it happened. Don’t mention that you have any injuries.
If you offer too much information, they could turn your case against you and try to get out of providing any settlement whatsoever.
The insurance company may also offer you a low settlement. Even if the settlement sounds okay, it’s not going to be enough to cover your medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, pain and suffering, and other damages that could apply.
Again, your personal injury lawyer will take care of all of that for you. Your only job, aside from providing proof, is to relax and get better. What matters most is that you focus on your health and not on getting entangled in a lawsuit.
If you’re ready to go after your third-party liability settlement, then get in touch with Haug Law Group today.