If I Get Into A Car Wreck Can I Sue The Insurance Company?
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When a policyholder is injured in a car accident and the insurance company denies their claim, they may seek compensation from their insurance provider by suing the insurance company.
In an ideal world, policyholders would receive a fair settlement amount for their injuries from their provider. However, while your insurance company may claim that customer service is its highest priority, the fact remains that it is a business designed to protect its shareholders and turn a profit. Fortunately, policyholders may hire an experienced attorney to seek the compensation they may be entitled to from their insurance company.
If you or a loved one has been denied coverage by their insurance company after suffering injuries from an automobile accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our car accident attorneys.
TYPES OF INSURANCE LIABILITY CLAIMS
Just because your claim was denied doesn’t mean you don’t deserve coverage. If your insurance company denies your claim, you may file a lawsuit for breach of contract or bring an action for bad faith on behalf of the insurance provider.
Breach of Contract
A breach of contract claim is brought when an insurance company fails to make payouts it is obligated to make under a binding contract signed by both the insurance company and the policyholder.
A bad faith claim is made when an insurance company wrongfully denies coverage by claiming that an event is not qualified for coverage under the insurance policy. Bad faith cases often involve debates over legal semantics in the policy, so it’s important to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.
REASONS INSURANCE COMPANIES DENY OR DELAY CLAIMS
Insurance companies deny claims for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are valid, while others are not. Some of the more common reasons insurance companies deny claims include:
Lack of Coverage
Your insurance company may argue that your claim isn’t covered by your policy. Examine your policy’s exclusions section to better understand what’s not covered. Keep in mind that ambiguities in the policy are judged in favor of the policyholder, not the insurer.
If it’s unclear as to which driver caused the accident, the insurance companies involved may not agree on whose responsibility it is to pay out the claims. For example, if your insurance company believes you were not at fault for the accident, it may say that the other driver’s insurance is responsible for the claim. On the other hand, the other driver’s insurance may say that you’re responsible for the accident and that your insurance should pay. Disputes like these can lead your claim to a dead end.
Late Medical Attention
Your insurance company may deny your claim if you are unable to prove that your injuries were a result of the accident. An immediate doctor’s visit often serves as proof that your injuries occurred at the same time as the crash.
Your insurance company may also try to deny your claim if you suffer from a pre-existing condition. It may be argued that your condition caused your injury rather than the accident. For example, if you have a pre-existing neck injury but you suffered additional or new injuries to your neck because of the accident, the company may deny your claim and argue that your new injuries did not result from the accident.
Your insurance company may set time limits for notifying the company of your claim. Check your policy to see what the requirements are for notifying the company of a claim. Some timelines may be as short as 24 hours.
Bad Faith Denial
Remember that an insurer might offer many justifications, with confusing insurance policy jargon, to disguise the fact that they just don’t want to pay for the claim.
HOW TO NEGOTIATE A CLAIM WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Insurance companies are businesses and operate as such. While insurance companies may claim to have your best interest in mind, your insurance company may still try and award its policyholders with as little compensation as possible.
Your adjuster is aware that the more of a financial bind you’re in, the more likely it’ll be for you to accept a low, but immediate payment on your claim, as opposed to waiting for a higher settlement. Even if you tell the insurance adjuster the minimum amount you’re willing to settle for, you may still be offered less.
Below are some tips that may help you in negotiating your claim with an insurance adjuster:
1. Document as Much as Possible
If possible, take as many photographs as possible of the accident scene, including any visible injuries you may have. In some instances, an insurance adjuster may not visit you until days after the accident, which could provide time for your wounds to heal and any property damage to be repaired. Photographing and documenting evidence immediately after an accident may assist you in proving the severity of the accident, as well as help negotiate with the insurance company.
2. Determine a Minimum Settlement Amount
Once you have understood the scope of your losses, you should use this information to determine a settlement amount that could adequately cover your damages. Be sure to make an added effort to describe and calculate all the damages you suffered due to the accident. This may include medical bills, treatment costs, pain and suffering, and loss of wages.
3. Keep Your Story Straight
It may be helpful to write down the details of the accident in order to keep your story straight when negotiating with an insurance adjuster. The insurance company may attempt to have you change your story of how the accident occurred, or claim that you were responsible for your injuries as a way to justify providing you with a lower settlement amount.
4. Expect The “Back and Forth”
While you may expect your initial settlement offer to be turned down, you should not feel obligated to accept the insurance company’s counteroffer if it’s too low. This tactic is common amongst insurance adjusters and is used to determine how much you may fight against their offer and whether the claim may be settled quickly. It is highly recommended that you ask your insurance adjuster to justify their offered settlement amount.
Although these tips may help you seek a fair settlement amount for your damages, the assistance from an experienced attorney with knowledge in insurance lawsuits is crucial if you are considering suing the insurance company.
HOW AN ATTORNEY MAY HELP
Insurance companies know that many accident victims are unaware of how much their claim may be worth. Because of this, insurance companies typically offer unrepresented victims a settlement that is lower than the actual value of their claim in the hopes that a victim may take the offer and forfeit their right to a legal claim.
It’s important to contact an attorney before accepting a settlement amount from the insurance company. An experienced auto accident attorney may calculate the value of your case, which they may use in negotiating your claim with the insurance company.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
CAR ACCIDENT COMPENSATION
Typically, damages for personal injury claims fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages.
The two main types of economic damages are medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses may include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospital fees
- Costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Costs for possible future medical treatment
Lost wages represent the time you are off from work due to your injuries from the accident. Lost wages may include:
- Vacation time
- Loss of earning capacity
You may also be entitled to compensation for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident. This may include the cost of a rental car while your own vehicle is undergoing repair.
Non-economic damages are losses or injuries that are suffered by an accident victim but are not defined in monetary terms. Non-economic damages may cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- A lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
GET HELP FROM ZINDA LAW GROUP’S CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
At Zinda Law Group, our car accident lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help injured victims sue their insurance companies after being denied compensation for car accident injuries.
If you or a loved one has been denied coverage by their insurance company after suffering injuries from an automobile accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our car wreck attorneys. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
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