My Car Was Hit, and Insurance Won’t Pay! (How to Not Get Taken Advantage Of)
You were in a car accident, and thankfully everyone made it out okay. You’ve got some bumps and bruises here and there, but you’re going to make it.
Now that your doctor’s given you a clean bill of health, you turn to the other driver’s insurance company to start your third-party car insurance claim. You’re shocked, confused, and a little more than peeved when you find out the insurance company refuses to pay up.
What do you do? Where do you turn? Why would an insurance company refuse to pay a car insurance claim in the first place? Let’s look at a few reasons why the insurance company may be denying you and what you can do about it.
Top Four Reasons Car Insurance Claims Get Denied (and How to Get Yours Back on Track)
Insurance laws exist for a reason. So when you get into an accident, you can reasonably assume that the other driver has enough auto insurance coverage to take care of the damage they cause.
But that’s not always the case. In fact, there are a few reasons why an insurance company would deny your claim.
Here are four.
#1 They Believe You’re the At-fault Driver
In Wisconsin, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for your auto accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company can refuse to pay any compensation at all.
Say, for instance, the other driver rear-ended you, but during the investigation, the agent finds that you were brake-checking, causing them to slam into you. In that case, their insurer might decide not to cover any of your damages (i.e., medical bills, property damage, etc.).
If that’s you, you’ve got two options. You can hire a personal injury lawyer to investigate your claim separately or accept the verdict and work with your own insurance company to cover your costs.
#2 The Claim Exceeds the Policy Limit
Insurance companies aren’t obligated to pay above their policy limits. But Wisconsin sets a minimum liability insurance coverage of $10,000 for property damage and $25,000 for bodily injuries or death. Depending on how severe your injuries are and the cost of your medical treatments, you could easily exceed this amount, causing the insurance company to deny your payment request.
If this is the case, the driver might still have an umbrella policy that you could collect from. An umbrella policy is coverage that provides protection beyond existing policy limits. A personal injury attorney can help you find all sources of recovery available.
#3 The Driver’s Policy Lapsed
You can’t collect from something that’s not there. It’s possible that the driver that ran into you just so happened to miss a payment that month, causing their policy to lapse. So even if they’re all caught up now, the insurance company could very well claim they have no obligation to pay you.
When this happens, check with your own insurance company to see if you have Underinsured/Uninsured motorist coverage to fall back on. This coverage allows you to recover compensation from your own policy rather than try to chase down the at-fault driver for payment.
#4 There’s a Mistake in the Claim
If you omitted or provided incorrect information in your claim, the insurance company will send it back. Also, most insurance companies have a deadline for when insurance claims must be filed. If you miss the deadline, you may miss out on your chance to get compensated.
If the hiccup is something minor, like missing information or a missing police report, then, of course, you should refile your claim with the updated info. If it’s a more glaring mistake, you might want a personal injury attorney focused on car accidents to review your case before making the next move.
Insurance Giving You the Cold Shoulder? You Have Options
There’s a real chance that the insurance company denied your claim in bad faith. After all, they’re not looking out for you; they’re looking out for themselves. But you have options, all of which start with getting a qualified car accident lawyer involved right away.
Call Welcenbach Injury Law today to book your free consultation.