What Happens If Your Insurance Claim is Denied?
Attorney Brian White | September 22, 2020 | Auto Accidents
One of the most disappointing things that can happen after a car accident is having your claim denied by an insurance company. What could make the experience even more frustrating is how diligently you worked to follow the “rules” by filing a police report, gathering supporting documentation, and submitting your evidence promptly.
Even if you follow each step in the process perfectly, it is still possible for your claim to be denied. It is important to know, however, that a denial does not have to be the end. There are additional steps you can take if your claim is denied but you still want to pursue compensation for the damages you incurred.
The Appeal Process
There are a number of reasons an insurance company might deny your claim. In fact, when an insurance company denies your claim they have to notify you in writing as to why they are choosing to do so. Some of the most common reasons claims are denied include:
- A dispute over who is liable for the incident
- The insurance company claims they were not notified of the accident in a timely manner
- The claim falls into one of the policy’s exclusions
- The premiums had not been paid and the policy was no longer in force
While you can appeal your claim regardless of why it was denied, it is often best to pursue an appeal with the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help you gather the documentation you need and aid you in effectively expressing why you believe your claim is valid.
Insurance companies’ claim denial appeal processes can be tedious and require that you follow various protocols. If you make even one or two small mistakes your appeal could be in jeopardy of denial.
File a Lawsuit
Either before or after the appeal process, another course of action you can decide to take is to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. Obviously, if you are intending to file a lawsuit you will need to hire a lawyer to help you with your case. If you choose to go this route it is also important that you understand your chances and the higher level of scrutiny your case will come under.
For example, not every claim denial is reason to sue. In some cases, an insurance company might have reason to deny a claim. On the other hand, insurance companies are private enterprises whose main business is generating a profit. Large claims can be a threat to an insurance company’s bottom line and many have been known to outright deny claims or offer very low settlements in an attempt to boost profitability.
If this is the case with your situation, you might have a bad faith case against the insurance company. Every insurance company owes a duty of acting in good faith to settle claims and if they fail to do so a lawsuit can be an effective tool to make them pay the damages they should.
Finding the Right Lawyer
One key to knowing how to move forward with a claim denial is to find the right attorney. A competent and seasoned car accident lawyer will be able to judge your case fairly to determine if the insurance company acted in bad faith. Many personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and work on contingency fees so there is little risk in contacting one to get a feel for the validity of your case.
In many situations, simply by involving a lawyer, an insurance company will see how serious you are about your claim and begin to take steps toward a fair settlement. If that doesn’t happen right away in your case, your lawyer will know how to help you write a compelling demand letter, gather additional evidence you may have overlooked, and eventually request the insurance company’s documentation so he or she can get a sense for the case they have for denying the claim.
Dealing with insurance companies can be time-consuming and stressful. Especially after a denial letter comes in the mail. Instead of handling the complex appeals process on your own, involve a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The right lawyer will know how to effectively represent you and your case and will do everything they can to get you the compensation you are due. You shouldn’t have to pay for injuries and damages another person is responsible for. A personal injury lawyer can help you find justice.