Following an auto accident, your next step should be to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. Seeking the claim is important; it will cover your expenses related to the accident (medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other damage that occurred as a result of the crash).
In the perfect world, everyone who was a victim of an accident would get a high settlement. However, this isn’t always the case. Many insurance companies deny claims for various reasons. In some cases, it could be because you didn’t wear a seat belt, or other things we’ll discuss in the following lines.
However, you shouldn’t settle with the first offer. Your New York car accident lawyer will help you and negotiate until you get the amount you deserve.
The Accident Was Avoidable/ Wasn’t Reported on Time
If the accident was avoidable, but you didn’t do anything to avoid it, the insurance company may decide to deny your claim. The insurance company may believe that what you did may make the insurance policy invalid (such as DUI).
Insurance policies have rules when it comes to reporting a car accident. If you didn’t report the accident (you thought it was minor, or agreed with the other driver not to report it and they paid you), then your claim will be denied.
Delay in Medical Treatment
If you got injured in a car accident, you should seek medical help right away, no matter how minor the injury is. Even if you don’t feel any pain, get a medical exam just in case.
Besides you would need this for your healing, the medical report can save you in the further development of your case. The insurance company may deny the settlement because there is no medical report. They may think that your injuries resulted in another accident.
The insurer may say that your injuries happened because of a preexisting condition, or aren’t as severe as you claim they are. Or, in the worst case, the insurer may state that you have no injuries at all.
Insufficient Insurance Coverage
Auto accidents that cause severe injuries result in high damages as well. The damages may pass the liable driver’s car insurance policy. Their insurance company may deny your settlement because of the following reasons:
- The damages are higher than the policy’s coverage limits
- The settlement limits have been exhausted
- The policy does not include the right type of coverage
Driver is Excluded From the Policy
If the liable driver isn’t on the car insurance policy, the victim’s claim will be denied. If the insurance company excludes the at-fault driver from a policy because of their bad driving record, the plaintiff can also expect their claim to be denied.
Breaking State Law or Negligent Driving
If you violated the law or drove negligently when the car accident occurred, the insurance company will deny your claim. Breaking the law and negligent driving are violations of your insurance policy, which means the insurance company has a valid reason to refuse to give you the claim.
Here are several other reasons why your claim may be denied:
- You were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- You were driving without a driver’s license
- You were driving without car insurance
- You were involved in an accident that the insurer believes could have been avoided.
How to Avoid This and Get Your Claim
To avoid a claim dispute you can gather as much info as possible, once the accident happens. This means you should exchange information with the other driver (or drivers, if more vehicles were involved). Ask for license plate numbers, car registrations, insurance cards. When you have organized info to the claim adjuster, they would be able to finish the process faster and you can void time-consuming steps such as administrative tasks.
A medical report is another good thing to have; see a doctor after the accident, even if your injuries are as minor as bruises or scratches. Having a medical report will ease things up, and the insurance company won’t believe that the injuries occurred in another accident.
To get your deserved claim, it’s best if you go into the process with the help of a car accident attorney. You don’t have to accept the first offer; this is when your lawyer would start negotiations with the insurers.
If you want to learn more about your case, Cellino Law is here to help you with everything.