Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
What Should I Do If My Car Accident Claim Is Denied?
Car accidents happen every day and when they do, drivers depend on auto insurance companies to accurately determine fault and award damages according to how their policies are written.
Yet there are times when insurers may deny a claim and decline to pay any benefits to victims injured in crashes.
If they disagree with you on what happened or who is to blame, you could end up with a huge bill for any damage or injuries sustained.
What do you do if an insurance company denies your accident claim?
Since claim denial usually means the other driver’s insurance company finds you to be greater at fault and you disagree with that decision, lawyers who help clients with car accident claims suggest that you contact an attorney to discuss it.
Millions of Accidents - Millions of Accident Claims
Every year, there are millions of car accidents in the U.S, from minor bumps and fender benders to serious crashes that result in injuries and fatalities.
According to the NHTSA, these accidents have accounted for more than 37,000 fatalities,1 millions of injuries, and over $870,000,000,000 in costs,2 a number that seems to keep rising every year.
In every car accident situation, there is an at-fault party and other parties who are victims to the actions of the at-fault individual, no matter how unintentional their actions may have been.
Those victims depend on the at-fault party’s insurance company to compensate them for their injuries, property damage, and other expenses encountered due to their insured’s actions.
Why Would An Insurance Company Deny Your Claim?
Attorneys are contacted by many people every year who were injured in car accidents that were not their fault, yet the at-fault party’s insurance company has denied their claim for damages.
Even if the police report submitted about the accident clearly states who was obviously at fault, some insurers will reject the conclusion on the report based on their own investigation and deny claims from those who were victims in the accident.
There are a number of reasons why this might happen:
- Dispute Over Fault - Sometimes the insurance company does not agree that their client is the at-fault driver based on the police report. Their bottom line is that they are obligated to accept the facts as stated by their client unless there is overwhelming evidence to believe that their client is not being truthful about the facts.
- Cannot Reach the Insured Party - Another reason car accident lawyers commonly see being used by insurance companies to deny a claim is because they have been unable to reach their client to get their version of the accident facts. Like the dispute over fact, insurers can accept an accident claim without contact from their client if there is overwhelming evidence that their client is at fault.
- Partial Responsibility - The insurance company doesn’t outright deny the claim but can assess comparative responsibility and only agree to pay what they consider to be their portion of the liability claim. This only applies in states that recognize pure or modified comparative fault. Texas follows the 51% comparative fault rule which means a damaged party may only recover 50% or less of their claim under these circumstances.
What To Do When Your Car Accident Claim Is Denied
If your accident claim has been denied by an insurance company and you believe the other driver is more at fault than you are, ask the company for a formal written denial letter stating exactly why the claim was rejected - and then contact car accident lawyers for a consultation.
After their own investigation of the facts, your lawyer will advise if they feel that you do indeed have a case against the other party and their insurance carrier, then work to have your claim accepted and compensated by the other insurance company.
That may happen quite easily or it may require extensive negotiation or even litigation if the insurance company continues to refuse to pay.
In either case, finding an attorney to represent your interests in this matter gives you a better chance to receive compensation when an insurance company denies your claim or only offers a small settlement that is not representative of the damages and injuries you have sustained.
Bottom Line - Hire A Car Accident Attorney!
Whether you’re dealing with an insurance company that won’t pay or are dissatisfied with the settlement that’s been offered, an attorney experienced in handling car accident claims can be of invaluable assistance.
Get compensation for the damage and injuries you sustain in a car accident by finding an experienced lawyer to help you!
1U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Research Note: 2017 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes Overview, October 2018
2U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2010 (Revised), May 2015