Insurance provides a crucial source of support to accident victims struggling with injuries and car damage. If you’ve been hit, you can typically make a claim on the other driver’s liability coverage. If the driver has no insurance (or not enough) you can make a claim on your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Unfortunately, many accident victims are shocked to discover their claim has been denied. In pain and unable to leave the house, they don’t know how to get an insurer to change its mind. If this has happened to you, contact Ladah Law Firm today. Our Car Accident Attorney can review your case and come up with a plan to get compensation. Below, we identify the top reasons for insurance company denials.
Liability insurance is fault based. If you caused a crash, you can’t make a claim on the other driver’s liability coverage. You also can’t make a claim on your own liability insurance.
An insurer might reject your claim by alleging that you shoulder the majority of fault for a wreck. If so, you will need to convince them you were not at fault—or, at least, you don’t share the majority of blame.
In other cases, the insurer can’t approve a claim because fault is in dispute. This often happens with car accidents. For example, which driver caused a rear end collision: the car up ahead or the car behind? It might be true that the car behind was tailgating, which would make that driver at fault. But it might also be true that the car up ahead suddenly hit the brakes, which means the driver of this car is at fault.
Typically, insurance companies need to perform an investigation to uncover fault. This investigation can take time.
An insurer will only cover injuries if they were caused by the accident. Let’s say you get into a wreck but don’t go to the hospital. A week later you feel pain in your neck, which you think is whiplash caused by your car accident.
An insurer might deny the claim because they aren’t convinced your alleged injuries are related to the crash. In legal terms, this means the insurer doesn’t believe you have established “causation.” Instead, they might argue your neck injury was caused by something else that happened after the car crash.
The way to protect yourself is to go to the hospital immediately after a collision. Discuss your symptoms with a doctor and stay in contact. Closely monitor how you feel so that you can head back if your condition worsens. Admittedly, some injuries take a few days to manifest. But going to the hospital promptly shows you are taking your symptoms seriously.
If the insurance policy is not current, then you can’t make a claim on it. Some drivers unfortunately do not renew their car insurance, or they quickly cancel it after registering their vehicle to save money. With the price of everything exploding the past year, we are seeing more people cancel their policies.
Of course, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can make a claim on that policy for your injuries—provided you haven’t let your own coverage lapse!
Currently, Nevada only requires that drivers carry a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage per injured person (up to $50,000 max per accident), and $20,000 for property damage. Many accidents will cause much more than this amount in losses:
When you add this up, many victims suffer well over $100,000 in losses. This means they potentially have $75,000 or more which will not be covered by the other driver’s liability coverage.
When confronted with a large claim like this, the insurer should pay up to the policy limit. However, they will probably deny the rest of the claim.
Many insurance policies require that you notify them of a claim within a certain amount of time, typically 30 days. You might have waited too long to notify them following a wreck.
Of course, you might have valid reasons for not notifying them. If you were in a coma, you obviously could not call. Other insurers do not keep accurate records, so you might have called or emailed and they simply didn’t hang onto the information.
This is a shocking thing to be accused of. But some insurers will deny a claim and allege you made up the accident or lied on the accusations of fraud often arise in a single-vehicle wreck. For example, a motorist might have forced you to swerve off the road, where you hit a fire hydrant or building. Or a road defect could have forced you to lose control of your car. An insurer might disbelieve your story but instead think you crashed due to fatigue or alcohol.
You can protect yourself by always documenting an accident as fully as possible. If a car almost hit you, contact the police. Share information about the car, such as color, make, model, and the direction it was going. If debris in the road caused you to lose control, then take a picture of it. Any documentary evidence like that can help bolster your case with the insurance company.
Insurance claim forms can require quite a bit of information. If you didn’t provide all the information requested, then the insurer might deny the claim. Of course, they might take another look if you provide them with what they want.
One way to avoid this denial is to work closely with an attorney, who can complete the work for you. We will make sure you include all requested information, with complete documentation. This can speed up the approval and get a settlement check into your bank in a timely manner.
An insurer will not simply accept your claim that the accident cost you a certain amount of money. They want receipts. Share the following documentation with your attorney:
This paperwork helps strengthen your claim. Without it, an insurer is highly likely to reject a claim.
A rejection is not the end of the world. You can still request an appeal and present other evidence to an insurer. They might change their mind and then approve your claim.
If an insurer still says “no,” it might be time to file a lawsuit in court and take your case directly to a judge and jury. They will ultimately decide who is at fault for the crash and the amount of your losses.
Ladah Law has haggled with insurers for decades. We understand the roadblocks insurers put in the way of accident victims seeking justifiable compensation for their injuries. Fortunately, we have the law on our side, and we will use it to your benefit. Even when an insurer rejects a claim, there is still hope.
To learn more about our services, please call (702) 252-0055. A Las Vegas car accident lawyer will meet with you to review your case and discuss its strengths or weaknesses. We will also analyze whether you can fight the rejection.