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Why Was My Insurance Claim Denied After a Car Accident?

Published: Sep 04, 2017 in Car Accidents

After your vehicle is damaged and you are hurt in a car accident, some of your first thoughts are how insurance will take care of it. If you were hit by another vehicle, you know you need to take steps to file a claim with their insurer. If it was a hit and run or you think you have better collision coverage, you will call your own insurer. Either way, you are relying on an insurance policy to come through and cover repairing and replacing your vehicle, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, many things can go wrong. The insurance claim you are depending on could be denied, leaving you with more questions than answers.

If your insurance claim was denied after a car accident, contact our experienced car accident attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. at (205) 933-1500 today.

Common Reasons Why Insurance Claims Are Denied

There are many reasons why an insurance company may deny a first- or third-party claim, including:

  • The insurance policy lapsed. If you or the policyholder failed to make timely payments, the insurance coverage might have lapsed. In this case, there was no auto insurance at the time of the accident.
  • An unapproved driver was behind the wheel. If you or the other policyholder had an unapproved driver behind the wheel, the insurer may deny the claim. Unapproved drivers are often one of many typical policy exclusions.
  • There is evidence you were intoxicated while driving. Insurance policies often exclude coverage for accidents caused by drunk or drugged drivers. If you file a first-party claim against your own policy but there is evidence you were intoxicated at the time, you may be denied coverage. If you filed a third-party claim, the insurer may use evidence of your intoxication to claim you, instead of their client, were at fault for the accident.
  • The insurer determined you were responsible for the accident. If you file a third-party claim against another driver’s insurance policy and their insurer determines you were more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, your claim may be denied.
  • You did not provide the proper documentation. You must cooperate with the insurer’s investigation and provide necessary documentation regarding the incident and your injuries. If you fail to cooperate or provide enough evidence of your physical, psychological, and financial injuries, then your claim may be denied.
  • Your claim is greater than the policy amount. In some situations, the amount of damages you seek for your physical, emotional, and financial injuries may far exceed the other driver’s policy limit – particularly if the other driver carried only the minimum amount of auto insurance required by law. Instead of offering you up to the policy amount, some insurers will deny your claim in whole.
  • You took too long to file a claim. You are obligated to notify the relevant insurance companies of an accident within a reasonable amount of time and then you should file a claim as soon as possible. Most insurance policies do not give specific deadlines. However, if you wait an unreasonable length of time to notify the insurer or file a formal claim, the insurer may deny the claim.

Good vs. Bad Faith

If an insurer denies your claim based on valid reasons under the policy or Alabama law, then this is typically a good faith denial. There are usually ways to fight for an approval. However, you may not have any evidence the denial was invalid or unlawful in order to change the result. However, insurers are notorious for looking out for their bottom line and may deny your claim without a reasonable or valid basis. If an insurer wrongfully denies your claim, you may have evidence of bad faith. This may give you the right to file an additional legal claim and fight for more compensation.

Let Our Alabama Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers Help

If you filed a first or third-party insurance claim after a car accident and it was denied, it is time to seek legal advice. Our experienced personal injury lawyers of Belt & Bruner, P.C. are prepared to investigate your situation and determine your next best steps, which may include appealing the insurer’s decision or moving forward with a personal injury or bad faith insurance lawsuit.

If you or a loved one were injured in a devastating accident, call the car accident lawyers from Belt & Bruner, P.C. at (205) 933-1500 or use our online form. We offer a case evaluation free of charge and are ready to help you obtain full compensation for your losses. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our attorneys will quickly travel to investigate your case.