Getting into a car accident is enough stress for one person to handle, but often times, there is even more stress to come. An experienced car accident lawyer will tell you that If you followed the rules of the road and you are sure that the other driver caused the accident (or even if you aren’t), you should know that you have to do some pretty easy things immediately after the accident in order to make a strong claim: use your phone to snap some pictures, take notes about the accident, and then you have to call the other driver’s insurance company to notify them that you are making a claim. Typically, the insurance company will want to take a recorded statement from you. We strongly advise you NOT to do this. If you have a copy of the police report, provide that to the insurance company.
How do you proceed if the other party’s insurance company denies your claim?
Reasons Why an Insurer Might Deny Your Claim
There are many reasons why the insurance company may have denied your claim. Usually, there are one of two reasons why the claim was denied:
- The insurer’s claims adjuster doesn’t believe your claims; or
- The insurer doesn’t want to pay and hopes you will drop the claim.
The adjuster may have talked to an eyewitness and doesn’t believe what you said or has their own opinion of what happened just by talking to the other party.
There may be some other reasons why the claim was denied. These can include:
- Exclusions in Policy: Some insurance policies exclude “acts of God” or natural events like a sudden rainstorm or black ice.
- Lapsed Policy: If the other party involved in the accident didn’t pay his or her premiums, the policy lapsed and the insurer can claim there was no coverage at the time. In this case, you may need to rely on uninsured motorist coverage to pay for compensation.
- Failure to Notify: Policies often give a certain amount of time for an accident to be reported. This is why you need to act as quickly as possible.
There are some other reasons why your claim may be denied, but these are the most common.
What to Do After the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
If your claim was denied, you will most likely need to consult with a car accident lawyer to help you fight. Insurers make a profit by taking in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims, so they will do everything that they can to prevent paying you – and they have good lawyers on their side. An attorney’s claim, especially one that is well known for getting results, however, will usually carry more weight and may be taken more seriously by the company. It is likely they will try to settle out of court.
Fighting an insurance company is an art form that requires several steps.
Step 1: The first step may be to write a demand letter, which is a formal claim for compensation. This will detail your account, the amount of money due for vehicular damages and medical treatment, and a discussion of why the other driver was at fault. At this point, the insurance company will likely give a specific reason for why the claim was denied, or it will reverse its decision.
Step 2: Formal Appeals Process. If the insurance company has a formal appeals process, which most do, then your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement for you. This may include mediation to help resolve the matter. It is important to have an experienced, firm lawyer in these cases.
When Does it Make Sense to File a Lawsuit?
If your claim was denied by an insurance company, you may want to file a lawsuit against the company. Keep in mind, you will want to talk to a lawyer before doing this. He will be able to give you better insight into whether or not your case will be successful. It is important to give him the entire story, no matter what. In some cases, the cost of a lawsuit may outweigh the amount of the damages paid, which means even a victory in court could end up costing more than you get in compensation.
Get Legal Help For Your Insurance Claim From One Of Nebraska’s Top Lawyers
Car accidents are never good, whether they result in severe injuries or they are just fender benders. If the other party’s insurance denies your claim, however, even if you were not at fault, things can go from bad to worse. If you need help deciding what step to take next, contact Matthew G. Miller today at (402) 558-4900.