If you have been in an accident and the other driver was at-fault and that driver doesn’t want to cooperate, you might have to take legal action. You might have witness statements and an accident report that shows the other driver was to blame, but when you pursue a personal injury claim to recoup your losses it is denied because the other driver will not respond to contact requests from their insurance carrier. Every insurance policy has what is called a “duty to cooperate” clause. That clause means that everyone who is covered by that insurer and who is seeking the benefits and protection from the coverage that is offered must cooperate with the investigation conducted by the company as well as the defense of the claim. If the insured doesn’t cooperate, it could be solid ground for the insurance company to deny the claim.
Where Does That Leave Me?
You are not insured or covered by the other driver’s policy. The insured person is the person who is covered by the policy. This is the person or persons who are listed specifically on the policy or people who fall under the definition of a covered person. This definition therefore doesn’t include you since you are the person who was injured by the other driver. You are an outside party who is making a claim on the policy of someone else because they are liable for damages. You are alleging that the other driver is liable for the damages and injuries you suffered in the crash. You are making a liability claim, which is also called a third-party claim.
What is a Third-Party Claim?
Most people assume that the other driver’s insurance is there to protect them if the other driver is at fault for the crash. That is not how liability insurance coverage works. When you file a personal injury claim on the insurance policy of the other driver, you are making a legal claim. The other driver’s insurer has a duty or a responsibility to protect their insured, or driver, from your claim. There are several approaches the other driver’s insurance company can use:
- They can investigate the claim you have made.
- If the insurance adjuster believes that the driver is at fault, they can choose to settle your claim.
- They can reject the claim you have filed and retain legal counsel to defend their driver if you file a lawsuit.
You should know that regardless of the approach, the insurance company is going to protect their insured driver and not you. You will have several options: you can file a claim through your uninsured motorist coverage or you can file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been in an auto accident, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. This is especially true if the at-fault driver is failing to cooperate with the insurance company. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you have nothing to lose. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to get your claim on the right track.