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1st Party Claimant vs 3rd Party Claimant

by Tom D
(Dover, DE)

I was in an accident this past Sunday 5/3/09. I was "rear ended" and it was the other party’s fault.

There was considerable damage to my 1999 Buick LeSabre, probably enough to declare it a total loss. Neither me or my mother were injured, but our attendance at a family reunion was cut short.

We had to sit in a towing company’s lot for before my wife could pick us up and bring us home late that night.

I started the claim process on Monday 5/4/09 by allowing my insurance company to start processing the claim, then get the money back from the other insurance company.

My question is if I wanted to get other damages back, such as suffering, inconvenience, etc is it better to deal solely with the other persons insurance company or let mine do all the "leg work"? What are my rights in either case?


Hello Tom,

You are entitled to pain and suffering, inconvenience, and/or other damages if and only if you are physically injured. This is somewhat unfair because as you outlined, you could suffer damages even if you are not injured (i.e. inconvenience). To learn more about the damages you can ask for, please see:

In addition to this, you would only be entitled wage loss if you can show your actual loss (you were schedule that day to go in, but you were not able due to the accident). If you are in a day off, the there was no actual loss (you did not miss out on wages).

I know this is unfair, but unfortunately insurance companies will not move unless you have some kind of medical record showing your injury.

Should you be injured, or you have to go in to get checked, this would give you rights to pain and suffering and inconvenience (same to your mother). If you do have to be double checked, then you will have to deal with the other party insurance company (doing the leg work).

Your claim with your insurance company is limited by the terms of your auto policy, which most likely do not all for pain and suffering (99% of insurance policies disclaim this for first party insureds). So what happens here is that you have to settle directly with the other side for pain and suffering, and then your insurance company would get reimbursed for the medical bills paid.

It is possible that the insurance company will want to settle with you for a minuscule amount ($50) for your inconvenience so they can gave a release of any/and all claims so you cannot go after them for anything else later on.

If you have any more questions, please follow up as a comment and we will be glad to follow up.

Good Luck

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