When you have a car accident, you expect that insurance is going to cover the damages and medical expenses. After all, that’s what insurance is for, right? However, this isn’t always what happens. Sometimes insurance claims following a car accident are denied.
Understand How Insurance Works
You pay your premiums every month with the expectation of recovering some of that money in the event of an accident. However, if you are only carrying the minimum amounts of insurance, you may be upset at the results of your claim. You need to understand your coverage as well as how the claims process works.
Since driving a car is so commonplace in the United States and all states require a minimum level of liability insurance, it's important to understand how to work with an insurer after a car accident. (1) It’s best to notify your insurance company as soon as possible following an accident. Delaying notification of the appropriate parties can delay the processing of your claim.
Your insurance agent should be able to help you understand how the claims process works. However, if you have questions about the laws governing insurance claims, you could contact the best car accident lawyer in Atlanta to discuss your concerns.
You’ve Been Injured, Now What?
If you've been injured in an accident, you'll want to file a police report and an insurance accident claim with both your insurer and the insurer of the responsible party as soon as possible (after seeking medical attention). The claim is the first step toward being compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, and/or other damages resulting from the accident. (2)
Securing a police report is a crucial part of making your accident claim. The responding officer(s) will take pictures of the scene, take statements from those involved, and interview witnesses. You should include a copy of the police report when you file your claim with the insurance company.
Notifying the appropriate people is an important step in getting your claim processed. Some insurance companies require that you report claims to a specific person in the company. Others allow anyone in the office to take the information. You should find out who can accept your claim information before you begin the process.
Some people retain the services of an attorney to assist them through the entire process. The best car accident lawyer Atlanta can answer any legal questions you might have regarding your rights and responsibilities during the injury claims process.
Reasons For A Claim Denial
Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes deny the claims made following an accident. The claims adjuster should send you a report of the reasons for denial should they choose to deny your accident claim. Some of the common reasons a claim might be denied are as follows:
Limits to your policy. Each insurance policy has a set maximum amount that can be paid on a claim. If your maximum limit is below the amount of your claim, the insurance company could deny the claim, or you could be responsible for paying the difference between your limit and the amount of the claim if you’re at fault.
The kind of coverage on your policy. States typically require a minimum amount of coverage, but if you only have the minimum, you might not be covered adequately. If you don’t have collision insurance and you hit another vehicle, you will be responsible for your own vehicle and medical expenses.
Ignoring the rules of the road. If you were driving illegally, your insurance company can deny your claim.
Insurance companies can deny claims for reasons beyond these, but these are some of the most common ones.
Should I Hire An Attorney?
Sometimes, the insurance company denies your claim without a good reason. This is called a “bad faith” denial. When this, or any other denial, happens you have the right to appeal the decision.
If you don’t feel comfortable appealing the insurance company’s decision alone, you might consider hiring the best car accident lawyer in Atlanta to help you. The lawyer will review your documentation and the evidence from the accident and then contact the insurance company requesting, no, demanding, a reason for the denial.
If necessary, the best car accident lawyer Atlanta can continue to assist you through the claims appeal process, or any lawsuits that may stem from your accident. They can help you to understand fault and no-fault laws and how they apply to your particular situation.
If you’ve had a car accident, it’s important to understand how the insurance claims process works. Having insurance doesn’t guarantee that your claim will be approved. Insurance companies deny claims for multiple reasons. To appeal a decision or to learn more about the laws concerning accidents, contact the best car accident lawyer in Atlanta.
If I pay my premiums can the insurance company still deny my claim?
Yes, even if you’ve paid your premiums some things can result in the denial of your accident claim. Coverage limits, the type of coverage you have, and illegal activity while driving such as driving under the influence of alcohol or driving without a valid license can be reasons for the legitimate denial of an accident claim.
How can the best car accident lawyer Atlanta help with a denied car accident claim?
Sometimes an insurance company denies a claim for an invalid reason or with a refusal to explain the denial. In these cases, an attorney can be helpful in the appeals process. They can help you understand the process, can look at your documentation and evidence that supports your claim, and they can demand an explanation from the insurance company regarding the decision to deny the claim.
What is an at-fault state?
An at-fault state is one where a claimant can attempt to be compensated for accident damages or medical bills from the person who was at fault in the accident, that person’s insurance company, or even their own insurance company.