Why an Insurance Company May Deny Your Car Accident Claim
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, you should be able to receive compensation for injuries and other losses. The vast majority of vehicle accident claims are resolved through a settlement with insurance carriers. Unfortunately, there are times when insurance carriers deny claims. It is crucial that you understand the main reasons for an insurance claim denial, what insurance carriers are required to do after an accident occurs, and what you should do if your insurance claim is denied.
Common reasons for an insurance company to deny a claim
After a vehicle accident, you want to know that your insurer will be supportive during the entire claims process. However, there are various reasons why an insurance carrier may deny a claim. Some of the most common reasons for insurance claim denials include the following:
- Inadequate policy limits. It is crucial that everyone has policy limits that meet or exceed their needs. However, if your car accident claim is worth $100,000 but you are in an accident with a driver who only has $50,000 in coverage, a claim for the additional coverage will likely be denied unless you have uninsured motorist coverage.
- You were at fault. If there is a dispute over fault, or if it is clear that you were solely responsible for the accident, the claim may be denied. However, in states like Arizona and California, even those who are partially at fault will be able to recover compensation.
- You did not receive medical care. If you are in a car accident, it is crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible. Some accident injuries do not appear until days after the incident occurs. Without an immediate medical evaluation of your injuries, it could be hard to prove that you were injured in the accident itself.
- You do not have a diagnosed injury. If a medical doctor did not find a diagnosable injury, it is much more likely that the insurance carrier will deny your claim. Insurance is there to help pay financial losses after an accident, but if there is no medical treatment for an injury, they will likely deny any injury claim you make.
- Failed to notify the insurance carrier. You are required to tell your insurance carrier about a vehicle accident very soon after the incident occurs. If your insurance company is not notified in a timely manner, this increases the chances of a denial.
What are insurance companies required to do after an accident?
Insurance carriers are required to respond to your claim in good faith and fair dealing when handling claims for the person they insure. When an insurance claim is made, the carrier is required to look into the incident and provide a response to the claimant within a reasonable amount of time. Failure to do so could constitute bad faith and give rise to a lawsuit against the carrier itself.
In general, you will see that an insurance claims adjuster will investigate the incident and provide the insurance carrier with an assessment of how much they think the claim is worth. The insurance carrier will make an offer within a reasonable amount of time, which can then be accepted or denied by the claimant. It is certainly possible to negotiate with an insurance carrier at this point, but a complete denial of a claim may mean that the claimant may have to file their personal injury lawsuit in order to recover the compensation they deserve.
What to do if your car insurance claim is denied?
If your insurance claim is denied and you believe that the denial was in bad faith, you need to seek assistance from a car insurance bad faith attorney as soon as possible. An attorney with experience handling bad faith insurance claims will be able to investigate your case, determine liability for the original incident, review your insurance policy, and help secure the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help you appeal the claim denial with the insurance carrier while also preparing a personal injury lawsuit against the carrier in the at-fault party.