background hero

Filing a Third-Party Car Insurance Claim

After a car accident, third-party insurance claims can be a crucial part of recovering damages such as:

  • property damages
  • car rentals
  • medical expenses

Do you know how to file an insurance claim against another driver? Here are three simple points to remember: 

  • Submitting an insurance claim to another driver's provider is called a third-party claim.
  • You're considered the third party in this situation.
  • This occurs when you file a claim with an insurer you don't have a policy with, but the at-fault driver does.

In this article, we'll break down everything you need to know about third-party claims, including determining fault, dealing with deductibles, and navigating the claims process. 

We'll also discuss when it's appropriate to file with your own insurance company and the role of personal injury protection (PIP) in California.

Determining Fault in a Third-Party Insurance Claim

In California, an at-fault state, the driver responsible for the accident must cover the damages caused. Determining fault is a critical step in a 3rd party car insurance claim. Typically, the involved insurance companies will investigate the accident, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and photographs. Based on this evidence, they will assign a percentage of fault to each driver.

Will I Be Charged with a Deductible When I File a Third-Party Claim?

When you file a third-party claim, you generally will not be charged a deductible. This is because the at-fault driver's insurance company is responsible for covering your damages. However, if your claim is denied or if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company, which might require you to pay a deductible.

When to File With Your Own Insurance Company

There are several scenarios where it might be appropriate to file a claim with your own insurance company:

  • The other driver's insurance company denies your claim.
  • The other driver is uninsured or underinsured.
  • You have collision coverage and need immediate repairs, regardless of fault.

Keep in mind that filing a claim with your own insurer may require you to pay a deductible, and it may affect your insurance rates.

How to File a Third-Party Car Insurance Claim in California

To file a third-party car insurance claim in California, follow these steps:

  1. Get the at-fault driver's insurance information.  
  2. Alert your own insurance company of the accident.
  3. Contact the at-fault driver's insurance company to report the claim.
  4. Provide necessary documentation, such as a police report, medical records, and repair estimates.
  5. Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster.
  6. Consult with an attorney if you encounter difficulties during the process.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in California

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is optional coverage in California. PIP covers medical expenses and lost wages for you and your passengers, regardless of fault. This coverage can be especially helpful if you're involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

The Third-Party Claims Process

The third-party claims process involves:

  1. Investigating the accident and determining fault.
  2. Evaluating the extent of damages, including property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.
  3. Negotiating a settlement with the insurance adjuster.
  4. Appealing a denied claim or low settlement offer.
  5. Taking legal action, if necessary.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Will Simplify The Claims Process

Navigating the third-party insurance claim process in California can be a headache-inducing and time-consuming endeavor. Understanding the intricacies of determining fault, handling deductibles, filing claims, and the role of personal injury protection can greatly impact the outcome of your case. That’s why our law firm is here to help and simplify the claims process! 

Our experienced legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers is here to assist you in seeking compensation for any injuries you’ve sustained from a negligent driver. WCTL has represented hundreds of car accident victims across California and recovered over 1 billion dollars in settlements. 

The founder and president of WCTL is a former federal prosecutor and Harvard graduate. Neama Rahmani has built an expert legal team, composed of super lawyers and talented individuals ready to assist you every step of the way. 

Whether you have incurred medical expenses, lost income, endured pain and suffering, or experienced any other damages, we will work tirelessly to win the full compensation you deserve.
Contact us today by calling 888-407-7969 or filling out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our amazing, caring, and compassionate legal team.

Free Case Evaluation

510 Reviewers

They know what they're doing, very well. Not only did I not make a single phone call from the day I hired them, but I also received calls from their case managers and paralegals who want to make sure my treatment was going well. They whole team took care of me. Thank you WCTL for taking full responsibility of my case and getting me an amazing settlement.



293 Reviewers

I can say with confidence that this team is the best in the business. . . . Dean took the time to really listen and hear me out. He assured me that he was going to move mountains because he believed in me, and he ended up doing just that. I’ve never met a more focused and passionate attorney in my life. If you’re looking for a firm that treats its clients with the utmost respect and care, calling WCTL is a no-brainer. I wouldn't think twice about working with them again in the future.