An auto insurance company denies a car accident injury claim for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons include lack of coverage, claim errors, lack of evidence, deceit and filing the claim after the statute of limitations. When an insurance company denies your claim, you may feel that you have no option but to accept the insurer’s judgment.
Fortunately, you DO have legal options for preventing or challenging a claim denial. Below, we look at common reasons insurance companies deny car accident insurance claims and what you can do to improve your chances of winning your claim.
Reason #1: Lack of Coverage
Lack of coverage typically falls into one of five categories:
- You are not listed under the car insurance policy.
- Your vehicle is not listed under the car insurance policy.
- No policy was in effect at the time of the car accident.
- You don’t have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle.
If any of the four statements are true when you file an accident claim, the insurance company may not liable for your damages. This includes your medical bills, lost pay, property damage or any other losses.
What to do: Make sure you read and understand your insurance in its entirety. Know what is covered, who is covered and how much coverage you have. Also, know the date the policy went into effect. You may also want to become familiar with Florida’s no-fault car accident laws.
Reason #2: Claim Errors
Claim errors can range from typos to inadequate or inaccurate information. Most claim errors are easily remedied. For instance, if you provided the wrong vehicle information, the insurance company may call to confirm the right vehicle.
However, other claim errors can lead to a denial. The insurance company may deny your claim if you did not fill in certain lines or provide enough information over the phone.
What to do: This is one of the reasons why a car accident attorney is valuable. Chances are that your lawyer has helped clients with hundreds of claims in the past. They can help you fill out the paperwork and file your claim to ensure it is error-free.
Reason #3: Statute of Limitations
The Florida Statute of Limitations on car accident claims is four years. Why so long? First, it gives you plenty of time to file a claim and challenge a denial, even if you must take the case to court. Second, not all car accident-related injuries are immediate. You may not notice the symptoms of an injury until several months after the accident.
However, if you miss the statute of limitations, you may no longer qualify for compensation. Even if you do miss the statute, you owe it to yourself to seek legal counsel and explore your options.
What to do: First, don’t hesitate to seek medical treatment for your injuries. You should visit your doctor or the ER for a physical exam even if you think you are okay. Make sure that you mention any physical complaints, nothing is too small to mention. Second, seek legal representation immediately. If nothing else, at least consult an attorney who can give you free valuable advice after the accident.
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Reason #4: Driving Illegally
The insurance company could deny your claim on the grounds that you were driving illegally if:
- You were driving recklessly.
- You violated one or more traffic laws.
- You were driving while under the influence.
- You were driving without a license.
The insurance company may launch a thorough investigation into the accident. The adjuster may speak with witnesses, pull police reports or look at video footage to determine if your actions caused the accident. If the insurer concludes that you were driving illegally or recklessly, they may deny your claim.
What to do: If you were driving illegally, you need to limit what you say and who you talk to. You need to seek legal representation immediately and allow your attorney to handle your case. It includes letting the law firm engage with all relevant parties on your behalf. This would include the other driver, the insurance company and law enforcement.
Reason #5: Too Much Information
Yes, it is possible that your insurance company denied your claim because you talked too much to too many people. Filing an insurance claim is like being arrested. What you say can and will be held against you.
Whether it’s your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, an adjuster may look for inconsistencies or discrepancies in your claim. The slightest mistake can cost you thousands of dollars.
What to do: Once again, consult a car accident attorney first. There is no law that requires you to speak with an insurance company immediately. If you consult an attorney and allow them to represent you, they can engage with the insurer on your behalf to ensure that all shared information is accurate. Never speak with the other driver’s insurance company, regardless of the circumstances of the accident.
Hire Thomas J. Ueberschaer, P.A., to Represent You Today
When you are ready to move forward with your car accident case, we are here to help at every step. Thomas J. Ueberschaer, P.A., provides comprehensive legal services for victims of car accidents in Florida. Contact us today to get started with your claim.
We will answer your questions, address your concerns and work on your behalf to take on the insurance companies. To schedule a free case evaluation, call us at 850.741.7381.