What to Do if Your Car Accident Claim Is Denied by Your Insurance Company
Posted on: May 9, 2023
Every driver pays for car insurance in hopes that they never have to use it. However, it can be incredibly frustrating when you do file a claim and your insurance coverage denies it. Whether your claim was not covered under your policy, there was a paperwork mistake, or any other reason there was a denial, your first course of action to getting your claim paid is to seek legal advice from an experienced car accident lawyer.
Why Did My Insurance Deny My Car Accident Claim?
Car accident claim denials happen more often than you may think. There are several reasons why an insurance company would deny your claim, and it is most likely detailed in the denial letter the insurance company sent you. Be sure to present this denial letter to your personal injury lawyer, who can help you with the insurance company’s appeals process.
Here are a few reasons why your claim may be denied:
- Policy limits: Every insurance policy has a limit on how much it pays for an accident. If you claim is more than the policy’s limits, then the excess will not be covered by then insurance company, which may result in a denied claim. For New Jersey, the minimum limit you must purchase for property damage is $5,000 per accident, and personal injury protection is $15,000 per person.
- Policy coverage: There are different kinds of coverage you can purchase in your auto policy. There is comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, liability coverage, and others. Collision coverage covers you when you are in a crash with another area or an object, and comprehensive coverage covers other damage like a fire or vandalism. The insurance policy terms and conditions can also be used to deny your claim. Your claim may have been denied by the insurance company because you did not have the right coverage.
- No coverage: If you are filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance company, this is called a third-party claim. However, if the other driver is not insured, you would have to file a claim with your own insurance company under Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. However, if you do not have that, then your claim can then be denied.
- Illegal driving: If you were driving under the influence at the time of the accident, or caused the accident by driving recklessly or did so purposefully, there is a good chance your insurer will deny your benefits. An insurer can also reject your claim if you were driving without a current license or you were driving some else’s car.
- Missed deadlines: Insurance companies have many reporting guidelines that require you to report an accident claim within a certain number of days. In order to avoid this, it is recommended to contact your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company as soon as possible and report the accident. Even missing the deadline to pay your premiums may result in a claim denial.
- False statements: The insurance company may accuse you of making false statements and deny your claim. For instance, they may argue that an injury was a pre-existing condition and the accident did not cause it.
How Do I Resolve a Denied Insurance Claim?
After a denied claim, the next best way to get compensation for your damages is to go through the appeals process. Although insurance companies have an appeals process for you if your claim is denied, there are a few steps that you can also take to help strengthen your case and resolve your denied claim:
- Gather evidence: Gathering evidence in a car accident claim is one of the best solutions to a denied claim, as additional evidence like photos, videos, police reports, and other documents can strengthen your case. Even medical records and documents showing your visits to the doctor can help substantiate your injury and the connection it has with the accident.
- Letter: Explain in a letter to the insurance company each piece of evidence supporting your claim, providing as much detail as possible. You also want to explain to the insurance company your disagreement with their decision and your plan to appeal.
- Lawyer: The entire appeals process can be made easier with the help of an experienced lawyer. They spend their entire careers navigating New Jersey’s car accident laws and negotiating with insurance adjusters, as well as gathering sufficient evidence and having access to experts like doctors or accident reconstructions. They also review every detail of your case and can draft a demand letter to the insurance company to respond. Finally, a lawyer can explain if your rejected claim has reached the point of legal action and whether or not proceeding will be beneficial to you.
Other Legal Options
There may be other legal options available to you if your claim appeal is denied, such as arbitration and mediation with the insurance company. You can also file a written complaint with the Office of the Insurance Ombudsman NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.
Contact Our Freehold Car Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Today
Our Freehold car accident lawyers at Ellis Law can help you after a crash. Our team has years of experience. Call us at 732-308-0200 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in Asbury Park, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Long Branch, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York City.