How to Appeal an Insurance Claim Decision in Fort Lauderdale
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As the county seat of Broward County, Florida, Fort Lauderdale is renowned in the United States and throughout the world for its pristine beaches and intricate labyrinth of boating canals. The bustling city also boasts some of the finest seafood restaurants on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Sunshine State. For all its accolades comes one fact that the residents of Fort Lauderdale can do without.
Fort Lauderdale is the county seat of a county that leads the state in the number of annual car accidents.
A research study released in 2018 states Broward County led the state in the number of auto collisions, representing more than 10 percent of all car accidents in Florida. Broward County reported nearly nine percent more car accidents in 2018 than the county reported in 2017. Rapid population growth receives most of the attention for the dramatic increase in the number of auto accidents in Fort Lauderdale and across Broward County.
The rise in the number of auto crashes coincides with an increase in the number of denied insurance claim decisions. When you become involved in a car accident, you expect your insurance company to approve a claim for financial assistance, without having to go through the hassle of filing an appeal. However, insurance companies deny auto insurance claims for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from lack of evidence to acting in bad faith when reviewing evidence.
After a car accident, one of the most important steps to take involves contacting a personal injury attorney who specializes in helping clients file persuasive auto insurance claims. If you did not work with an experienced car accident lawyer when you filed a claim, you should make it a priority to hire an auto collision attorney when the time comes to file an appeal. At Morgan & Morgan, our team of car accident lawyers has spent over 30 years helping clients recover more than $14 billion in monetary damages.
Schedule a free case evaluation with one of the highly-rated personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan to help you file a successful appeal of a denied insurance claim decision.
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Does My Insurance Company Have to Meet a Deadline for an Insurance Claim Decision?
After a car accident in Fort Lauderdale, you face mounting medical bills, as well as the cost of repairing your vehicle and replacing any damaged possessions. You also might have to account for a significantly reduced income because of the recovery required from serious injuries. One of the first questions you should have after an auto collision in Fort Lauderdale is to ask how long your insurance company has to make an insurance claim decision.
The answer to the question depends on the type of claim that you file with your insurance company. Florida law defines two broad categories of auto insurance claims: General and personal injury protection (PIP). Florida residents that file a general auto insurance claim should expect their insurance companies to issue an insurance claim decision within a “reasonable period.” Florida law does not establish a definition for “reasonable period.” Because of the ambiguity of the term, you should hire a car accident lawyer to ensure your insurance company promptly addresses your original claim.
For a PIP insurance claim decision, your insurance company has 30 days to respond to your claim. If you have to wait longer than 30 days, your personal injury attorney applies pressure on your insurance company to determine whether your claim gets approved or denied.
What Is the Role of an Insurance Claim Denial Letter?
If your insurance company denies your claim, the company sends out what is called a denial letter informing you of the decision, as well as describing in detail how the insurer arrived at its decision. An insurance claim denial letter provides you with a foundation for which to file a convincing appeal. Because you know why your insurance company denied your claim, you can gather and organize more evidence to build a stronger case when you file an appeal.
Your insurance company has two options when sending you a denial letter. First, your insurance company has the right to issue a complete denial letter, which means your insurer does not cover any of the costs that are associated with a car accident. Second, you might receive a partial denial letter. A partial denial letter describes how much of your claim the insurance company covers, as well as the reasons why you do not receive approval for a part of your auto insurance claim.
If you disagree with your insurance company’s denial letter, you work with one of our accomplished car accident lawyers to build a stronger claim for an appeal.
Why Do Insurance Companies Deny Car Insurance Claims?
Filing a car insurance claim should not turn into a mind-numbing ordeal. You submit the appeal form along with the evidence you and your lawyer have collected, and then you wait for an insurance claim decision. If you have paid for PIP coverage, you should receive approval for compensation up to the limit you chose for your auto insurance policy.
However, some insurance companies turn the claim process into a mind-numbing ordeal because they deny claims for a wide variety of reasons.
Your Claim Exceeds Coverage Limits
You should understand the limits established in your car insurance policy. Filing an appeal for financial assistance that exceeds your policy’s limits is a surefire way to receive a second denial of your auto insurance claim. Let’s say your PIP limit for personal injury compensation is $50,000, but you plan to file an appeal for $75,000 in financial assistance. Your insurance company will send your appeal back denied about as fast as it sent you the denial letter for the original claim.
You Must Name Drivers on Your Policy
Every driver of your vehicle must be listed in your auto insurance policy for you to receive coverage after an auto collision. If you allowed your best friend to drive your car to and from the nearest convenience store and your best friend is not listed in your car insurance policy, your insurer does not approve an insurance claim if your best friend got involved in a car crash. Teenagers that use their parents’ vehicle to prepare for earning a learner’s permit represent a prime example of this type of reason for denying a car insurance claim.
Expiration of Coverage
Some policyholders simply forget to renew their policies. If you get involved in a vehicle collision and your policy has expired, you can expect your insurance company to deny the initial claim, as well as the appeal for compensation. If you fail to pay your monthly premiums, your insurer has the right to cancel your policy and hence, deny your compensation regardless of how much evidence you submit with an original claim and appeal for compensation.
Your insurance company does not have to notify you of a pending deadline for renewing your car insurance policy.
Drove Your Vehicle During an Unauthorized Business Trip
If you use your car for frequent business trips, you should notify your insurance company to ensure you receive coverage in case you get involved in a collision. Even if you rarely drive your car on business, your insurance company wants to know that you use your vehicle to travel to and from business events. If you fail to inform your insurance company about using your car while on business, your insurer will deny your initial claim and appeal for compensation.
Collision With an Uninsured Motorist
Although many states require policyholders to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, Florida does not make that a requirement when you sign up for car insurance. If you do not pay for uninsured motorist coverage, your insurer will not approve a claim that involves an accident with an uninsured driver. Like 47 other states, Florida requires motorists to purchase a minimum amount of car insurance, but that does not mean every driver is covered by car insurance.
Claim Denied in Bad Faith
When an insurance adjuster denies an auto insurance claim in bad faith, it means the insurance adjuster made an insurance claim decision without reviewing all the evidence associated with the claim. Your personal injury lawyer emphasizes the act of bad faith when filing an appeal for compensation. Sometimes, an insurance adjuster simply overlooks evidence without acting in bad faith. By pointing out the oversight, the insurance adjuster should quickly reexamine your original claim before approving it.
How Does a Car Accident Attorney Help Me Reverse an Insurance Claim Decision?
If you file a car insurance claim without the legal support of an experienced car accident lawyer, you should change your strategy when the time comes to file an appeal. One of the skilled litigators at Morgan & Morgan provides several types of legal support that can get the original denied insurance claim decision overturned.
Review Your Policy
Some car insurance policyholders act impulsively when they receive a denial letter. They fail to review their car insurance policies to determine whether their insurers made a justifiable insurance claim decision. An experienced auto collision attorney verifies that you qualify for coverage by not exceeding your limits, as well as confirming you purchased the coverage required to submit a valid claim.
Conduct an Investigation
Perhaps the greatest benefit of hiring a Florida-licensed car accident lawyer is the detailed investigation conducted for gathering and organizing evidence. Your legal counsel obtains the official police report that includes a determination of fault. Critical evidence to submit with your car insurance claim should include photographs of the accident scene, as well as the results of diagnostic tests and descriptions of treatment programs.
Witnesses provide legal support for the physical evidence collected to include in a car insurance claim. After you get involved in an auto collision, you should write down the names and contact information of every witness. Your car accident attorney then interviews each witness to decide which ones provide credible legal support for your auto insurance claim. The sooner after a car accident your attorney meets with each witness, the more credible the statements made by each witness.
Meet With the Insurance Adjuster
Experienced auto accident lawyers build strong professional relationships with insurance adjusters. The strong professional relationships allow personal injury lawyers to meet with insurance adjusters to discuss a claim. This can shorten the insurance claim decision process because one-on-one interactions typically get better results than sending emails and leaving voice messages.
File the Appeal
Before filing an appeal for compensation, your legal counsel conducts a thorough review to make sure the appeal contains all the evidence required to get a denied insurance claim decision overturned. Your attorney drafts the appeal letter by following the right protocols. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer ensures the appeal letter does not convey any anger or other types of negative emotions.
Get Started on Your Appeal Today
A denied car insurance claim denies you the right to recover the financial losses caused by an auto collision. Medical bills continue to pile up, while you are no closer to getting back to work. Filing a convincing appeal submitted by a highly rated auto accident attorney represents the most effective strategy to get the financial assistance you deserve.
When you sit down with one of the personal injury lawyers from Morgan & Morgan, you need to bring along a copy of the original denial letter. This allows your lawyer to determine why the insurance company denied your claim, as well as decide how to approach writing the appeal letter. The key is to take action as quickly as possible to get you the compensation you deserve.
At Morgan & Morgan, our car accident attorneys charge on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay upfront legal fees, which is especially important for clients that have fallen deep into debt because of the costs associated with a car accident. Get started on your appeal today by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the car accident lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.