Third Party Claims

When a person suffers injuries that are covered by his or her relevant insurance policy, the claim he or she files with that insurance company is referred to as a first-party claim. If a victim has to file a complaint with the negligent party’s insurance company, it is referred to as a third-party claim.

Third-party claims often seek compensation for such damages as medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle damage, among others. If another party’s insurer is unwilling to provide satisfactory compensation for a third-party claim, the injured party can file a lawsuit against the insurance company.

Lawyer for Third Party Claims in Tampa, FL

Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed as the result of another party’s negligence? You should contact Germain Law Group, P.A. as soon as possible.

Tampa personal injury attorney Michael B. Germain represents clients in Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Brevard County, and several other surrounding areas. 

Call (813) 835-8888 today to have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.

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Hillsborough County Third Party Claims Information Center

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Third Party Claims in Florida Automobile Accidents

Florida’s minimum automobile insurance coverage is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL). While a person who is involved in a single-vehicle wreck might file a first-party claim with his or her own insurance company, some individuals may be able to file a third-party claim. Third-party claimants typically include injured passengers or pedestrians who file claims against the negligent driver’s insurance company, injured drivers who file claims against another negligent driver’s insurance company, and injured drivers who file third-party claims against their employer’s insurance company.

Third-party claims are not bound by contractual policy agreements with insurers. As a result, victims injured in motor vehicle crashes can usually seek compensation for any of the following damages:

  • Economic Damages — Financial losses that would not have occurred but for the injury giving rise to the cause of action, such as medical expenses and lost wages; 
  • Noneconomic Damages — Nonfinancial losses that would not have occurred but for the injury giving rise to the cause of action, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress;
  • Punitive Damages — Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are awarded solely to punish a negligent party when he, she, or it is personally guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

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Third Party Claims for Workplace Accidents in Hillsborough County

Florida law essentially makes workers’ compensation the lone avenue for people to obtain compensation from their employer when they are injured on the job. Workers are prohibited from filing lawsuits against their employers. 

The same restriction, however, does not apply when a worker suffers injuries as the result of a third party’s negligence. Some of the types of situations in which injured workers may have valid third-party claims include: 

  • Faulty or defective equipment or machinery;
  • Failure to maintain equipment; 
  • Contractor or co-worker negligence; 
  • Property hazards; or
  • Toxic substances.

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Florida Third Party Claims Resources

Florida Statute § 627.4136 | Nonjoinder of insurers — View the full text of the Florida law that makes it “a condition precedent to the accrual or maintenance of a cause of action against a liability insurer by a person not an insured under the terms of the liability insurance contract that such person shall first obtain a settlement or verdict against a person who is an insured under the terms of such policy for a cause of action which is covered by such policy.” Under this statute, no person who is not insured under the terms of a liability insurance policy can have any interest in such policy, either as a third-party beneficiary or otherwise, prior to first obtaining a settlement or verdict against a person who is an insured under the terms of such policy for a cause of action which is covered by such policy. Third-party claimants are allowed to defend or intervene in a declaratory judgment initiated by an insurer, but they cannot raise their own claims. 

T&S Enterprises Handicap Accessibility, Inc. v. Wink Indus. Maintenance & Repair, Inc., 11 So. 3d 411 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) — In 2006, the Florida Legislature abolished the doctrine of joint and several liability by amending Florida Statute § 768.81 to provide for apportionment of damages in negligence cases according to each party’s percentage of fault. View the full text of a case arising from a premises liability claim in which the Second District Court of Appeal ruled that a third-party claim for contribution—a claim in which a defendant in a lawsuit asserts he, she, or it is entitled to contribution from a third party for any damages awarded to a plaintiff—the defendant must affirmatively plead this fault and prove it at trial “by a preponderance of the evidence.” It is important to note, however, that Florida Statute § 768.81(4) notes that the statute does not apply to “actual economic damages resulting from pollution, to any action based upon an intentional tort, or to any cause of action as to which application of the doctrine of joint and several liability is specifically provided by Chapter 403, Chapter 498, Chapter 517, Chapter 542, or Chapter 895” of the Florida Statutes.

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Find a Third Party Claims Attorney in Tampa, FL

If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed as the result of another party’s negligence in the greater Tampa Bay area, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Germain Law Group, P.A. helps individuals in communities throughout Hillsborough County, Indian River County, Sarasota County, St. Lucie County, Charlotte County, and many others. 

Michael B. Germain is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Tampa who has received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent Rating, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standard. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (813) 835-8888 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.

This article was last updated on Friday, February 16, 2018.