When Crash Victims May be Able to Challenge an Insurance Claim Denial
Car insurance companies would like nothing more than to deny a claim from a car accident victim. When a policyholder contacts them with a claim, they look for any reason they can use to deny the claim, such as arguing you are to blame for the accident and not the other driver.
If your claim was denied, you should give serious thought to discussing the situation with a licensed attorney. You may still be eligible to obtain compensation, and an attorney could help you challenge the insurance company denial or even potentially take the insurance company to court.
Reasons You May be Able to Overturn a Claim Denial
There are many reasons why an insurance claim may be denied by the insurance company:
- You missed the insurance company’s deadline for filing a claim
- Your policy lapsed because you missed a payment
- Your damages are not covered by the insurance policy
- Failure to immediately report the crash to the police
- You lied or misrepresented information when you filed the insurance claim
- You failed to seek immediate medical attention, leading the insurance company to suspect you were injured because of something besides the accident
- You were driving with an expired license
- You were drunk at the time of the accident, as indicated by a citation and your arrest record from the accident
While some of these reasons may be valid, particularly if you were driving with an expired license or while drunk, some of these justifications may fall apart when challenged. For example, if you sought medical treatment the day after the accident instead of the same day, you may have a valid case.
Insurance companies like to say damages are not covered by the policy in question, and they may give various reasons for this. However, if the at-fault driver has insurance, his or her policy must include coverage for the accident victim’s medical bills and property damage. Those damages often make up the bulk of a car accident claim.
Insurance companies also like to claim the victim is to blame for the crash. While you will have a hard time arguing against this if you were drunk, insurance companies may say you were at fault for an accident that is clearly the fault of the other driver. For example, if you were rear-ended while stopped at a red light, you likely have a strong case for compensation.
Even if you are partially to blame, you can still seek compensation in New Jersey. If the first insurance policy you are seeking compensation from does not have enough coverage, you may be able to turn to the underinsured motorist coverage in your own insurance policy to cover the rest.
However, insurers often offer far less the full amount of coverage under the terms of the policy. If your lawyer challenges the insurance company in court, he or she may be able to get full coverage.
Your choice of auto insurance policy will affect your right to file a lawsuit in New Jersey. Some policies give you a limited right to sue while others give you an unlimited right to sue.
No matter the reason for your claim denial, there is no harm in discussing the situation with a licensed attorney. He or she can explain whether you may have a valid claim and whether the denial was legitimate.
When you file an insurance claim, keep records of your conversations and the insurance company’s actions. You should also avoid providing too much information to the insurance company, such as your opinion about what happened in the accident. You could end up hurting your chances of recovering compensation.
Discuss Your Insurance Claim with an Experienced Attorney
When an insurance claim is denied, the policyholder may still be eligible to seek compensation. However, as this situation can be very complicated, it is important to reach out to a licensed New Jersey car accident lawyer for a free consultation.
The attorneys at Lynch Law Firm, PC have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of auto accident victims in New Jersey.* We have negotiated with insurance companies many times and know how they operate.
We take cases on contingency, which means we are not paid for representing our clients unless we recover compensation.
Give us a call today to learn more about how our attorneys may be able to assist you. Phone: (800) 518-0508 .