Why Was My Car Insurance Claim Denied?
September 27, 2020
After you’ve been in a car accident, you may go through all the necessary steps to prepare a claim: calling the police to the scene of the accident or reporting the accident to law enforcement, taking photos or video of the accident scene, getting prompt medical attention for any injuries you’ve suffered, notifying your insurer of the accident, and filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, whether you file a claim against the policy of the driver responsible for the crash or file a claim with your own policy for personal injury protection coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you may ultimately learn that the insurance company has decided to deny your claim for compensation.
Although it can seem like there’s nothing to do after your car insurance claim is denied, nothing can be further from the truth. Many car insurance claims are initially rejected by the insurance company, even though those injured parties eventually go on to recover compensation for their damages.
If you’ve had a car insurance claim denied by the insurance company following an accident, you need to understand the reasons why insurance companies deny claims and what you can do to continue pursuing the financial compensation you deserve.
Common Reasons Why Your Insurer Denied Your Car Accident Claim
Unfortunately, the insurance companies’ primary concern is not your injuries or damages but rather their bottom line. Insurers maximize their profits by taking in as much in premium payments from their policyholders as possible, while paying out as little in claim as possible. Thus, insurance companies will always look to deny claims as much as possible, hoping that many claimants will simply accept the denial and move on. Common examples of reasons why insurance companies may try to deny car accident claims include:
- The accident was preventable/you were at fault for the accident – The insurance company may try to deny your claim by arguing that your accident was in some way preventable but that you failed to act to prevent the accident and therefore shoulder some of or all the blame for the crash. For example, the insurer may argue that you failed to properly maintain your brakes and thus were unable to avoid the accident.
- The accident was not timely reported — The insurance company may doubt the veracity of your claim if you wait to report the accident to law enforcement or file your claim with the insurer after some time has passed following the accident; if you are making a claim under coverages in your own policy, you may have an obligation under the terms of your to report your accident within a certain period after the crash even if you were not at fault (such as 30 days).
- You failed to seek prompt medical care – The shock of an accident often causes people to not initially realize the extent of their injuries immediately after an accident; once the adrenaline wears off, pain and other symptoms begin to set it. However, the insurance company may doubt the existence of delayed injuries or claim that the injuries were caused by a preexisting condition or some other trauma you suffered after the accident.
- Your claim exceeds available coverage – Insurance policies only pay out claims up to a certain limit. If your claim exceeds the policy limit, the insurance company can only pay you the policy limit; if the policy has already been exhausted by other claims, the insurer will deny the claim outright.
- The at-fault driver is not covered by the policy – You may have been hit by a driver that lacked his or her own insurance policy and who is barred from coverage under the terms of the policy insuring the vehicle.
- You broke the law at the time of the accident – The insurance company may deny coverage for your illegal driving at the time of the accident, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving without a license, or driving without required insurance
What to Do After Your Car Accident Claim Is Denied
If your claim is denied by the insurance company, you usually can request reconsideration of the decision by the insurer; this rarely results in a reversed decision, unless you have new information or evidence.
You may choose to file a personal injury claim directly against the at-fault driver; however, he or she may not have much money to actually pay out a court judgment. Alternatively, you might be assigned the right to file a bad faith denial lawsuit against the insurance company directly.
Contact a Morristown Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Hoyt & Hoyt, PC represent clients injured because of car accidents in Montville, Edison, Woodbridge, Piscataway, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 292-2299 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 67 E. Park Pl., 5th Floor, Morristown, NJ 07960, as well as offices in New Brunswick.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.