What Can You Do If the Insurer Denies Your Car Accident Claim?
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on January 15, 2020 in Car Accidents
After a car accident, your first step is typically to pursue a claim through the insurance company, but what can you do if your claim is denied?
PKSD shares the common reasons an insurance company may deny a claim, as well as what options you may have if it happens to you. Request a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Milwaukee car accident attorneys today to learn more. We are prepared to answer your legal questions and review the specifics of your accident to determine whether you may have grounds to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Common Reasons Car Accident Claims May Be Denied
Insurance companies deny car accident claims for a variety of reasons, but these are some of the most common reasons:
Accident was Avoidable
The insurance company may say the accident was avoidable because:
- You did something that contributed to the accident
- You did not take sufficient actions to avoid the accident
- You did something that makes your coverage ineffective – such as driving drunk or distracted
When parties are not in agreement on who is liable for an accident and evidence is inconclusive, getting your insurance claim approved can be difficult. If there is a question of who is liable for the accident, the insurance company may reject your claim and argue that there is not enough evidence to hold the policyholder responsible.
Incomplete Information Provided
If you fail to provide requested documentation or omit important details, the insurance company may reject your claim without following up with you for the missing information. Before you submit your claim, it is important that you carefully review all information provided to make sure it is both complete and accurate.
If you have a pre-existing injury that was made worse in an accident, the insurance company may attempt to use that as an opportunity to deny your claim. The commonly-used argument is that your already established condition is the cause of your pain and suffering, not the accident. However, a pre-existing injury that is aggravated or made worse by an accident does not automatically disqualify the injured victim from pursuing compensation from the at-fault party. Proving the accident exacerbated a previous condition can be challenging, but an experienced attorney knows how to gather the supportive evidence needed to build a strong argument on your behalf.
Failure to Report the Accident in a Timely Manner
If you do not report the car accident within the insurance company’s required timeline, your claim may be denied. The policy language often defines how long claimants have to report incidents. If you miss this deadline, it may become more difficult to get your claim approved.
Policy Language Excludes Your Type of Claim
Car insurance policies may sometimes list types of injuries that are excluded from coverage. This information could be in the fine print of your policy and may easily be missed by many policyholders. It is important to understand exactly what your policy may or may not cover. However, sometimes a listed exclusion could be illegal.
Appealing a Denied Insurance Claim
If the insurance company denies your claim, they must also provide you with the reason. If an explanation is not included with the denial notification, you can contact the adjuster to provide the reason in a written notice. If the insurance company refuses to provide that information, you should contact an attorney for help in appealing this decision.
Pursuing a Bad Faith Lawsuit
If the insurance company denies your claim and fails to communicate with you further, the insurer may be liable for not fulfilling its obligation according to the insurance policy. If you are able to establish the company has failed to treat your claim fairly, you may have grounds for a bad faith lawsuit.
In this situation, it is in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you. If you have a valid case, your attorney will be prepared to handle the investigation of your claim and all legal work required to file and pursue the lawsuit.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If your car accident insurance claim was denied, a knowledgeable Wisconsin attorney may be able to help you to appeal your claim and recover fair compensation for your damages.
At PKSD, we provide a free initial consultation with one of our qualified lawyers to review your potential claim and discuss your legal options. There are no upfront fees if we represent you, and you only pay us if we first recover compensation for you.