Being involved in a car accident is a stressful event for anyone involved. Not only do you have to deal with your injuries, but a car insurance claim can be time-consuming and complicated. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not giving it out, so they will thoroughly investigate your accident and determine exactly how much you will receive according to your insurance policy. There are several reasons why your insurance claim can be denied, but there are some steps you can take to make sure that it's approved.
Remember that you don't have to accept the insurance company's initial settlement offer, speak with a car accident attorney before accepting a car insurance company's offer. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations or work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don't have to pay any money upfront to get the legal advice that you need. Discussing your case with a legal expert can help you recover enough compensation to cover all your economic and non-economic damages.
You Didn't Receive Medical Attention
Without proof of your injuries, an insurance company could argue that your injuries weren't caused by the accident. It's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident. By visiting the hospital or a doctor after the accident, they will create a medical report detailing your injuries and their severity. This document will help to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Your Policy Doesn't Cover Your Damages
Sometimes people file a claim for damages that their car insurance policy doesn't even cover. For example, your policy may not cover accidents when a car is used for business purposes. It is important to understand exactly what your policy covers and periodically revise it with your insurance agent. Once you review your policy you can add more coverage or make changes suitable to your needs.
You Took Too Long to Report the Accident
This is another instance where it's important to understand your car insurance policy. Some policies have a time limit to report an accident. If you file a claim after the specified time limit, your insurer can argue that they didn't have enough time to investigate the accident and then deny your claim. Talk to your insurance company as soon as possible after a car accident to report the incident.
You Broke the Law
If you are found to have broken the law while you were involved in a car accident, an insurance company can deny your claim. Examples of breaking the law include driving without a driver's license, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving without valid car insurance.
Your Claim is Higher Than Your Coverage
An insurance claim can also be denied if it's higher than what your existing policy covers. For example, if your accident causes $20,000 in property damage to the other driver but your policy only covers $10,000, the additional $10,000 would be denied.
It's important to remember that the insurance company does not have the final decision on what damages you can recover after a car accident. If you receive a settlement offer from your insurance company that is not enough to cover for your injuries or property damage, you are not required to accept it. Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your accident and your settlement offer, an attorney can help you determine if you are entitled to more compensation and will guide you through the legal process. A legal professional can also determine if an insurance company is acting in bad faith and can help you fight for the settlement that you deserve.