You were involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault. You took detailed notes, got a copy of the other driver’s insurance, and you snapped photos of any damages. But when you called the other driver’s insurance company to make a claim, they denied you. Why? And now what should you do? If you had a car insurance claim denied, contact a car accident lawyer at Brylak Law as soon as possible.
Why Your Car Insurance Claim May Have Been Denied
Though there may be hundreds of reasons why your car insurance claim was denied, it usually boils down to two main reasons:
- The insurer believes your claim lacks merit
- The insurer hopes that you will not pursue the claim any further
In either case, the insurance company’s claims adjuster may be relying solely on an eyewitness, or choosing to side with its clients point of view. Unfortunately, though the other driver may be entirely at fault, they will likely claim this isn’t the case. In spite of any evidence, the other driver may give their insurance company a statement that contradicts your claim. Often, when a police report is not available, the insurer may opt to believe their client’s version of events in order to avoid paying you the money you deserve.
Other factors your claim may have been denied include the following:
- Any Exclusions in the Policy: Examples of policy exclusions include natural events. The insurer can use these so-called “acts of God” by saying a natural event is the real cause behind an accident. For instance, if your accident occurred in a hail storm, the insurer may claim that hail is the true cause of the accident, and not the other driver’s carelessness.
- If the Policy Has Lapsed: Should the at-fault party fail to pay their insurance premium, the insurance company may say that they had no coverage during the accident. This means that you would be relying on uninsured motorist coverage.
- Failing to Notify the Insurer on Time: Policies often state a time frame for when an accident must be reported. If you fail to report the accident within that time frame, your claim can be denied. That’s why it’s vital that you report the accident to the other driver’s insurer as soon as possible.
So, now that you know why your car insurance claim may have been denied, what can you do now?
Steps to Take After a Denied Car Insurance Claim
If an insurer denies your claim, you will need to hire an attorney to fight it. Because insurance companies operate by taking more premiums than they pay out in claims, they’ll do whatever they can to avoid paying you. Having a car accident attorney by your side may make the insurer take you more seriously.
Your attorney can help you with the following:
Crafting a Demand Letter
A demand letter is a formal claim for compensation. Your accident attorney will help you include the following in your letter:
- A detailed description of your side of the story
- The exact dollar amount of vehicle damage
- Medical expenses of any sustained injuries
- An explanation why the other driver is at fault
Demand letters essentially force insurance companies to either issue a specific reason for why your claim was denied, or outright reverse its decision. Sometimes, insurers will offer to pay a portion of the damages instead.
Participating in Formal Appeals Processes
Most insurance companies have a formal appeals process. These processes provide you and your attorney a better chance at negotiating a settlement. Some states even require a formal appeals process if a claim is denied.
Deciding Whether to File a Lawsuit
Your attorney can you help you decide whether you should file a lawsuit against the insurer. However, if your case has very little chance of succeeding, or if the facts of your story do not entirely line up, your attorney may choose not to file a lawsuit. Sometimes the entire cost of a lawsuit can outweigh the amount you’ll receive in damages. This means that even if you win your case, you’ll still loose money.
Car Insurance Claim Denied? Contact Brylak Law
Car accidents are never pleasant to deal with. But if you have a car insurance claim denied, it only takes things from bad to worse. If you need help with a denied claim, contact Brylak Law today.