Car Accident Claim Denied?
Insurance companies are in business to make money, so it is no surprise that they refuse claims if they think they can avoid payment. However, this can mean trouble for the innocent victim who is counting on that money to pay for the costs of medical treatment and other expenses.
There are several common reasons given when an insurance company denies an Auto Accident Personal Injury claim. It is important for the victim to understand the reason so that he or she will know how to plan a strategy to force the insurance company to pay.
While almost all accidents are technically “avoidable,” when an insurance company denies a claim because it says the accident could have been avoided the reason is usually clear, such as a drunk driver behind the wheel or lending the vehicle to a person who is unlicensed. When the owner knowingly creates a situation in which the insurance policy’s coverage is rendered ineffective, the company may deny the claim, forcing the owner of the vehicle to pay for the damages.
Unfortunately, most car owners cannot pay the thousands of dollars in expenses that result from a denied claim. In that case, the victim may need to take steps to receive payment from another source, including his or her own insurance company.
When someone is injured as the result of a car accident, it is very important that the victim receive treatment immediately. By waiting, the victim may give the insurance company a reason to claim that he or she was not injured in the accident or that the injuries are not as bad as claimed.
This is particularly true in a whiplash-type injury case. Whiplash symptoms often do not appear until several days after an accident, so even if there is no pain at the time of the crash, it is still a good idea to visit a doctor for a complete exam.
Insurance companies will often try to state that an injury existed prior to the crash. It is much harder to prove that an existing injury was aggravated by an accident than to prove that an injury was caused by a crash. Therefore, it is very important to document all medical treatment received before and after the accident for any pre-existing conditions. For more on this topic, read our article on how pre-existing injuries can affect your personal injury claim.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that your own insurance is responsible for paying a certain portion of your medical bills as well as other costs related to your accident. It’s important to understand Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Insurance companies frequently deny claims made for amounts not covered by the victims’ no-fault policies.
However, if the victim has met the serious injury threshold or if there are extenuating circumstances, there may be cause to file against the other driver’s policy.
Expired Policies or Excluded Drivers
In some cases, a driver’s insurance has lapsed or the person driving the car was not authorized to do so. If this is the case, the insurance company may try to deny payment to the victim. However, there are laws that require insurance companies to act in good faith if there was a policy in place at the time of the crash, so it is important not to take a claim denial at face value. You may be able to force the insurance company to pay by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
If you have been the victim of a car accident and your insurance claim has been denied, contact a personal injury attorney for help immediately.