Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Car accidents impact many throughout Ohio every year. While hundreds are killed, many thousands sustain severe injuries and property damage. Insurance companies offer hope to those who need financial help with medical bills and daily expenses during their time of need. However, insurance providers are for-profit companies that work to reduce what they pay.
The claims process following a car accident is generally complex, and many victims have valid claims denied. Having a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you secure a fair recovery that is sufficient to provide for you and your family. Do not delay in contacting a knowledgeable Ohio personal injury lawyer after a serious car accident.
After A Denied Car Accident Claim: Demand Answers
The insurance companies generally want cases to go away quickly. They are concerned about losing profit if they pay out too much to those seeking damages.
Our attorneys have worked with many clients who are shocked and upset after their insurance provider denies their claim. Unfortunately, many denials come with little or no explanation, and the injured party is left uncertain about what to do next.
Having a skilled lawyer from the beginning is essential to secure the compensation you need. In addition to requesting that the insurance company act promptly, your lawyer can write a demand letter if your claim is denied. This asks them to properly explain the grounds for their decision. Their response will provide valuable insight into their process as your lawyer proceeds with your case for compensation.
Why Was Your Claim Denied?
The insurance company will look for any reason to deny your claim. However, they also understand that you might have a lawyer who will continue to pressure them to pay you the necessary damages.
There are various reasons why your insurance claim may be denied. Some of the most common causes include:
- The policy has lapsed – Perhaps premiums were no longer being paid on time when your accident occurred. The insurance company may try to argue the policy had ended.
- The policy excludes your type of accident – The company may try and argue that the policy doesn’t cover the harm you sustained. The term “act of God” may be used in this argument.
- The insurer was not properly notified – Your policy may require notification within a certain time after an accident. They might try and get out of paying if they were not immediately notified.
- The claimant is not covered under your insurance policy – The company is arguing the driver of the crash is not covered under your policy, so the claim isn’t valid. It’s essential to accurately report who was driving when the accident happened
- The claim exceeds your policy limits – Insurance companies usually don’t have to reveal policy limits before you file a claim, so that information may need to be pursued in a lawsuit. A lawsuit may be the best way to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages
- The insurance company claims you were driving under the influence – There could be language in your policy to disqualify claims if you’re in an accident because of alcohol or drug use. You should ask them to investigate before outright denying you compensation
Next Steps After a Denial: A Lawsuit May Be Necessary
You are not out of options simply because an insurance company has initially denied your claim. Ohio law grants you the right to pursue compensation through a lawsuit if you are harmed by the negligence of someone else.
A Claim’s Denial Is a Jumping Off Point for Negotiations
You can treat the denial as an initial place to start claims negotiations. Ask the adjuster for a written explanation why the claim was denied. This explanation should include the policy’s exact language and any statutes, rules, or regulations used to deny the claim.
If the adjuster refuses to cite specific laws or policy language for the claim’s denial, write your own letter confirming your request and the denial. You may have to speak with someone else within the insurance company before you go to court to seek damages.
While keeping an eye on their profit margins, insurance companies must also negotiate and settle first- and third-party claims in good faith. If an adjuster ignores you or tries to settle improperly, you can argue they operated in bad faith. You can go to their supervisor, write an accusation of bad faith, file a complaint with the state insurance department, and file a lawsuit.
Taking the Insurance Company to Court
If you need to go to court after your claim for damages has been denied, your lawyer may file a lawsuit against one or both of the following:
- The negligent party in your accident – Your lawyer might be able to demonstrate how the other party’s negligent actions directly resulted in your harm. In this case, they would be personally liable to pay damages.
- The insurance company that denied the claim – Insurance companies must handle claims in good faith. Failing to do this can be grounds for a lawsuit to compensate you for the harm you have suffered
Even if the insurance company approved your claim, it’s essential to hire a skilled personal injury lawyer early in the recovery process after a car crash. It’s especially critical when the insurance claim is denied.
A lawyer will help you keep track of evidence, gather expert testimony, act as an intermediary to the insurance company, and they can help you present your case. It lets the insurance company know that you are serious about recovering compensation.
Insurance companies are wary of fighting with experienced personal injury lawyers. They will typically want to provide a fair financial settlement offer rather than losing a lengthy legal battle at trial.
Contact KNR after Your Car Accident
The insurance company has the resources to help you after an injury-causing accident, but they might decide that they don’t need to. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer is critical if you or a loved one are in this position. Skilled legal counsel can help you understand all your options for recovering financial compensation and will know the best way to secure a fair result.
We have decades of experience holding insurance companies accountable and a long record of recovering what our clients deserve. Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick to speak with one of our Ohio attorneys about your case.