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Can You File Two Claims for the Same Accident with Different Insurance?

Can you file two separate claims for the same accident with different insurance?

Being injured in an accident can throw your life into turmoil both physically and financially. When dealing with medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages from missed work, you want to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you are owed. 

You may be wondering, “Can you file two claims for the same accident with different insurance?” The answer is: potentially yes, but it depends on the specific circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at when filing multiple claims for one accident may be allowed or advisable.

When You Can File Multiple Claims

In certain situations, it makes sense to file more than one insurance claim after an accident to get fully compensated. The key factor is whether different parties/policies share liability for your damages.

For example, consider that you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. 

In this case, you could file:

1) A claim with your own auto insurance policy to cover initial medical bills and repair expenses.

2) A separate third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance to recover further compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Or if you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident at a business, you may be able to file a claim on:

1) Your personal health insurance policy for medical treatment.

2) A premises liability claim against the business owner’s insurance policy for your other damages like lost income.  

The defining factors are that your damages stem from the same accident incident, but different insurance policies carried by separate parties share liability for paying out those damages.

When You Can’t File Multiple Claims

Can you file two separate claims for the same accident with different insurance?

On the other hand, there are times when trying to file multiple claims on the same accident would be considered “double dipping” or insurance fraud – and this is illegal.

You cannot file redundant claims with more than one insurance company in an attempt to get paid twice for the same damages. Filing a claim on two different auto policies for the same vehicular repairs or attempting to get your medical bills covered twice by separate health insurers would be considered fraudulent double dipping.

Insurance providers have mechanisms in place to cross-check claims data to identify duplicates. 

If they catch you double dipping, you could face significant penalties including:

  • Having your claims denied and policies canceled
  • Being required to repay any duplicate compensation
  • Potential fines or even criminal fraud charges in egregious cases

Simply put, you can’t collect more money than you are actually owed for your damages by abusing the system and trying to get paid twice. That’s considered fraud, no matter how you look at it.

Joint and Several Liability

When multiple parties are found liable for the same accident and your resulting injuries, the legal doctrine of joint and several liability comes into play. This determines how damages get paid out from the different responsible parties.

In Indiana with “pure joint and several liability,” you can only recover damages from each defendant equal to their percentage of fault. So if you were awarded $100,000 and the first party was 30% at fault while the second party was 70% at fault, you could only collect up to $30,000 from the first party and $70,000 from the second.

Other states follow a “modified joint and several liability” approach. If a defendant is found 25% or more responsible, they can potentially be required to pay 100% of your total damages if other defendants are unable to pay their share.

Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Claims

Injuries sustained in workplace accidents often allow you to file two separate claims – a workers’ compensation claim against your employer, and a personal injury claim against any third party who contributed to the accident besides a coworker.

Workers’ comp is a no-fault system where you can receive medical costs and lost wage benefits from your employer’s insurer regardless of who caused the injury. However, these benefits are limited and don’t cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

You can then pursue a third-party liability claim against any other negligent entity like a contractor, equipment manufacturer, or even a distracted motorist who struck you while you were working. This allows you to recover additional damages you can’t get through workers’ comp alone.

The workers’ comp insurer may have a right to recover any payouts from the third-party case through subrogation, but an attorney can ensure you still receive maximum overall compensation.

In many accident scenarios involving multiple negligent parties, you may be able to file and recover damages through separate claims and insurance sources – you just need to be strategic about it.

Maximizing Your Compensation the Correct Way

If you can’t double dip on the same damages, but different policies cover separate portions of your overall losses, how can you make sure you get full compensation after an accident?

The best solution is to work with an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney can:

  • Identify all possible insurance sources you have a legitimate claim against
  • Properly file and pursue maximum compensation from each policy
  • Ensure you don’t accidentally commit fraud by double dipping
  • Handle all negotiations with the insurers on your behalf
  • Take your case to trial if the insurers don’t offer a fair settlement

Your lawyer’s sole focus is getting you the complete payout you deserve from all relevant sources – without breaking any insurance fraud laws. They deal with these types of multi-policy claims routinely, so you can have peace of mind that everything is being handled correctly.

An insurance company, on the other hand, is incentivized to minimize their payouts as much as possible. Having legal representation helps level that playing field.

Can You File Two Claims for the Same Accident with Different Insurance?

In conclusion, don’t try to cheat the system. Trying to work the system and get more money than your damages merit through shady double-dipping practices is never worth the risk. Honest mistakes can potentially happen, which is why it’s critical to rely on an attorney’s expertise rather than going it alone.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, our team at Crossen Law Firm can ensure you get maximum compensation from all relevant insurance sources – without exposing you to potential fraud penalties. Contact us at 317-401-8626 or online today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal options and rights. We’re here to be your advocate through this difficult time.