If you have ever been involved in an auto accident which you believed was not your fault, only to end up on the losing end of a fight with the insurance company, you might wonder how things could have gone differently. As an example, perhaps you are absolutely certain it was your turn to go at a four-way stop, but another driver thought differently.
Your brand-new Toyota Prius was t-boned, leaving you with a wrecked car and injuries to boot. Perhaps you even followed the “rules” of a car accident, meaning you took photos, made detailed notes about the accident, and called both your own insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company as soon as you could after being checked out at the hospital. In other words, you did everything right, only to find your claim being denied by the other driver’s insurance company.
Why Was Your Claim Denied?
There are many reasons your claim may have been denied—most likely because the other driver gave a different version of the accident to his or her insurance company. Therefore, the insurance company believes your claim lacks merit, or they are simply denying your claim because they deny all claims initially, hoping the issue will not be pursued. And, in fact, many people do give up once their claim is denied. Some other reasons your insurance claim could be denied, whether you are filing with your own insurance or the other driver’s insurance include the following:
- The driver who hit you has not paid his or her insurance premiums, letting their policy lapse. The driver may still have an insurance card to show you, but this does not necessarily mean they actually have insurance.
- You may have filed under your own insurance but do not fully understand what your policy covers. As an example, some insurance policies do not cover your vehicle when it is used for business purposes. It is important that you review your policy on a regular basis to determine whether you have adequate coverage for all eventualities.
- You may not have full coverage on your car, which includes comprehensive and collision coverage. If you only have liability, and the insurance company believes the accident was your fault, then they will not repair your car, however your liability insurance will cover the other driver.
- You failed to report the accident in a timely manner. Never wait to report a collision to your insurance company. Your individual policy will tell you how much time you have to report an accident, but best practices indicate you should report the accident immediately, as soon as you have looked after your injuries.
- You were driving while impaired, whether drugs or alcohol. If you are involved in an accident and it is determined you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your insurance company will almost certainly deny your claim.
- You are not named on the insurance policy—even if you are a regular driver in your household, if you are not specifically named on the insurance policy, you may not be covered.
- You submitted a fraudulent claim to the insurance company. It should go without saying that you should never try to file a fraudulent or exaggerated insurance claim. Not only is such a filing grounds for rejection, it can also result in felony charges.
- Your insurance policy does not have sufficient coverage to cover your vehicle damages as well as the injuries. When this occurs, the claim may be denied.
- There is a question regarding who was at fault. If the other person’s insurance company, or your own, thinks you may have been at fault, your claim could be denied.
- You failed to seek medical attention for your injuries. In many cases, during an accident your body is flooded with adrenaline, which may make you feel as though you are “fine.” Later, when the adrenaline rush wears off—or even days later—you may realize you are not fine at all. Unfortunately, if you wait too long to see to your injuries, you will have a much harder time getting the insurance company to pay. See a doctor immediately after the accident, then let the insurance company know you are hurt just as quickly.
What to Do if Your Claim is Denied
Of all the times in your life which could benefit from having an experienced Mississippi attorney by your side, an auto accident is at the top of your list. If your claim is denied, yet you believe the claim is valid, you will absolutely need to have a skilled legal advocate by your side. An attorney’s claim simply carries more weight and is usually taken much more seriously by the insurance companies. Attorneys know every trick the insurance company may pull out of their hats, and knows how to deal with those challenges effectively.
Your attorney may draft a demand letter—a formal claim for compensation. The demand letter will detail your side of the story, as well as laying out the dollar amount you believe to be sufficient to cover the damages to your vehicle, as well as your medical expenses. At this point, the insurance company will be required to provide a specific reason as to why your claim was denied, and will likely reverse its original decision, although the insurance company may offer only a portion of what you are asking.
Your attorney may also file a formal appeal, which gives you a better chance of a negotiated settlement. If your claim has been denied, it may make the most sense to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. If your attorney believes your case has merit, then this may be the best way to receive the money you are owed, unless the cost of the lawsuit outweighs the amount of your damages. In the end, the very best way you can fight an insurance company who has denied your claim, is with an experienced Mississippi attorney by your side from start to finish.
Contact Our Jackson Personal Injury Lawyers
If you are injured in an accident in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney who will protect your rights and assist you in receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting the insurance companies aggressively for injured Mississippi accident victims – to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. We can help you obtain the money you need to fully recover. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at (601) 265-7766 or download our free guide and find out how you can win against your insurance company.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.