Car Insurance Claim Wrongfully Denied?
Do you think your car insurance claim was wrongfully denied? If you were hurt in a car accident, you are likely relying on your car insurance to cover your expenses. Even if you’re paying your medical bills yourself, you will need to be reimbursed otherwise, your savings may be entirely depleted. You might need to pay your bills with credit, going into debt and ruining your credit score. It is not unheard of for someone to file for bankruptcy following an accident because they acquired a massive amount of medical bills and were unable to work for a long period of time.
This worst case scenario is generally avoided by making a first- or third-party car insurance claim, but issues arise if your car insurance claim is denied.
Common Reasons Car Insurance Claims are Denied
Many insurance claims are rightfully denied. The denial may not seem fair, but it is within the insurance company’s right under the policy and law. Common reasons for insurance companies to deny a claim include:
- Your type of car insurance claim is not covered under your or the insured’s policy
- You or the insured did not pay the insurance premium and coverage lapsed
- You did not give notice as soon as possible after the accident
- The insurer believes you were fully or partially at fault for the accident
- The insurer claims your medical issues are not from the accident
A Duty of Good Faith
All insurance companies have the duty of good faith with their claimants, whether the claimant is the insured or a third-party. The purpose of this duty is to ensure that insurance companies do not use their legal expertise and power to intimidate claimants or illegally deny what someone is entitled to. In some states this is a duty derived from common law, or previous court decisions, but California has encoded this duty in a statute.
While there are legitimate reasons for denying an insurance claim, there are also reasons that arise from bad faith on the part of the insurer. A lawyer will be able to spot signs of bad faith such as the insurer:
- Is hard to reach,
- Did not conduct or unreasonably delayed an investigation regarding the accident,
- Misrepresented facts or the policy,
- Is unreasonably delaying a decision regarding the claim,
- Agreed to settle but has unreasonably delayed paying the amount agreed upon, or
- Refuses to provide a reason for a denial.
If you believe your claim has merit, then it is important to appeal a denial. It is best to have an attorney by your side to advise you during this process. Many insurers require a specific appeal procedure, which a lawyer can help you with.
Contact a Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorney About Your Car Insurance Claim
If your car insurance claim was denied and you think it may have been denied in bad faith, contact a personal injury attorney right away. A lawyer will have experience with insurance companies following a collision and will know the signs of bad faith. If there has been unfair or deceptive practices on the part of the insurer, your attorney can help you bring a cause of action against the company. Contact the Santa Rosa personal injury attorneys at Beck Law P.C., today to learn more.