As if the stress and hassle of a car accident isn’t enough, sometimes an injured South Bend driver runs into a problem with a claim he or she filed to recover compensation for her damages. In some cases, the insurance company may deny the claim. It’s important to know the possible reasons for denial and what to do about it.
Reasons a Car Accident Claim May Be Denied
When another driver was at fault for an accident, an accident victim may file a claim with that driver’s insurance company. Even if it seems clear that the other driver was responsible for the crash, the claim may still be denied in some cases. But it really shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the insurance company wants to protect its own interests, especially when it’s a third party claim.
If the insurer can avoid paying the claim, it will. So keep in mind the following reasons for claim denial.
Fault is Questionable
Responsibility for the accident might not be as clear or obvious as you believed it to be. Of course, there’s the possibility that blame was placed on the other driver but you were also partially at fault.
If this was the case, the degree of fault assigned to you must be 50 percent or less in order to recover any damages, per Indiana’s negligence rules. You must present evidence to establish the other driver’s fault.
Evidence Doesn’t Support Injuries
Your evidence should support the injuries you’re claiming. If it doesn’t, the insurance company may deny your claim.
For example, you indicate having a back injury but do not provide evidence to the insurance company that shows this, such as an:
- CT scan
Or it could be that the information provided is vague. Again, telling the insurance company you have a back injury is not enough. But if you can show proof of a herniated disc, for instance, this would be more specific.
Steps to Take When a Car Accident Claim Was Denied
In addition to all these reasons your car accident claim might be denied, sometimes an insurer will deny a claim hoping you won’t continue to pursue it. But it’s important to take the necessary steps to appeal that decision if the insurer wrongly denies your injury claim.
You may continue to negotiate with the insurer, but it can be difficult in some cases to reverse its decision. As such, it may necessitate discussing your case with an attorney who can determine if the denial was warranted.
If it wasn’t, your lawyer can take over negotiations and even collect and present additional evidence and documents if necessary. If negotiations don’t go anywhere, your attorney can prepare to take the claim to court.
Of course, if it was a serious accident, it’s almost always a good idea to secure legal counsel from the beginning. An attorney can handle all the dealings with the insurance company to avoid unjust denials while you focus on your healing and recovery.
Hensley Legal Group helps accident victims in Indiana, so give us a call at (317) 472-3333 or contact us online to set up your free initial consultation.