What To Do When Your Accident Claim Is Denied
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Getting into a car accident is tough enough, but then afterward you have to deal with insurance companies. If you were hurt and are out of work, you may have significant medical expenses and lost wages. However, insurers often don’t make it easy to get compensated for the full value of your losses.
If your car accident claim was denied, talk to a car wreck lawyer in Alabama at Belt & Bruner, P.C. right away to learn about your rights and what you can do next. We have extensive experience helping car accident victims to obtain the maximum available compensation for their injuries, even when an insurance company denied their claim.
Find Out Why
An insurance company must provide you with the reason for the claim denial. They can’t merely say “no” and have that be the end of it. If the insurer does not provide you with a reason, contact them and request a written explanation why your claim was denied.
Denials are made for many reasons. Some are reasonable and others are less legitimate. Many insurance policies have a great deal of insurer-friendly language that gives them leverage to deny valid claims.
Insurers often deny claims because they allege:
- Their insured was not at fault for the accident
- You could have avoided the accident
- You contributed to the accident
- The policy does not cover this type of accident
- The insured’s policy had lapsed at the time of the accident
- You failed to properly notify the company prior to making a claim
- You do not have medical evidence of your injury or pain
- Your injury is a pre-existing condition
Ask About the Appeals Process
When your claim is denied, you may wonder how you can have that decision reversed. An insurer must let you appeal the denial. Most insurance companies have a specific, administrative appeals process you need to follow in order for your claim to be reviewed. Ask for that appeals policy in writing.
Consider Negligence or Bad Faith
Insurance companies are required to treat both first- and third-party claimants with good faith, which means they should treat you with honesty and fairness. However, insurance companies want to avoid costly claims and settlements, which often leads them to deny valid claims.
Insurers are supposed to review and investigate your claim and, if it is valid under the policy, work with you to come to a beneficial settlement. If the insurer fails to behave reasonably in handling your claim, such as losing paperwork, failing to investigate, or waiting an unreasonable amount of time to investigate, then you may have a legal claim of negligence against the insurer.
If the insurer intentionally didn’t respond to your claim or investigate the accident, then you may have a claim of bad faith against them.
Insurance law, particularly regarding third-party claimants, is complex. If you think the insurance company hasn’t treated you fairly or is doing something illegal, contact an insurance claims attorney right away.
Call an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer
The insurance claims process is complicated, and if you’re unfamiliar with the law, it can be difficult and intimidating to handle yourself. Instead of appealing a denied claim alone, speak to an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer at Belt & Bruner, P.C. Our firm has more than 65 years of collective experience in handling auto accident and insurance claims cases.