Those who are injured in California car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and other similar events are unfortunately forced to deal with the complex, frustrating insurance claims process. The insurance company of the at-fault party reviews the claim and decides whether it is liable for the accident and, if so, how much in damages to pay the injured victim.
Of course, insurance companies need to make a profit to stay in business. The premiums they charge need to exceed the claims they pay—therefore, the insurance company’s goal in any claim is to pay as little money as possible. This is true even if the insurance company’s client is at fault for an accident.
The Claims Process
After an accident happens, the parties should notify their insurance companies as soon as possible. The insurance companies will begin investigating the claim by reviewing accident reports and other information.
Generally, the insurance companies have their adjusters call the other parties involved in the accident. The insurance company of the at-fault driver will call the accident victim to discuss the claim and attempt to resolve it quickly. If the at-fault insurance company agrees to pay all of the accident victim’s damages, the parties may be able to settle the claim.
However, in many cases, the insurance company outright denies any liability. What do you do in this situation?
The first step you should take after being involved in an accident—even if you think it will be an easy claim to resolve—is to speak with a skilled California personal injury attorney. These attorneys are experienced in negotiations with the insurance companies and know what types of evidence to submit to obtain a fair settlement for their clients.
If an insurance company denies liability for an accident, the insurance company refuses to pay any damages to the accident victim—no medical expenses, no lost wages, and certainly no pain and suffering.
Why Would an Insurance Company Deny Liability?
There are a number of reasons why an insurance company might deny liability for an accident.
For example, the insurance company may argue that the accident was caused by an excluded event. For example, most insurance policies exclude acts of God, which include events like earthquakes, flash floods, tornadoes, and other unforeseen events. The insurance company may argue that one of these events was the cause of the accident, not the negligence of its insured driver.
The insurance company may also deny a claim if it did not receive proper notice of the accident. Most insurance policies have clear guidelines as to when they must receive notice of an accident, and if this deadline was missed, the insurance company may deny paying any damages—even if its insured driver was at fault.
An insurance company may also deny payment on a claim if the insured driver did not pay premiums.
And, of course, the insurance company may deny that the facts show that its insured driver is at fault for the accident. The insurance company may argue that the accident victim was at least partially responsible for the accident and is not entitled to any damages.
What to Do if Your Claim is Denied
If the insurance company denies your claim, it does not mean that you are not entitled to damages. Insurance companies are notorious for paying (or trying to pay) injured accident victims far too little money.
When you hire an experienced California car accident attorney, your attorney is able to take over all negotiations and discussions with the insurance company. The insurance company may attempt to use your statements against you—therefore, it is best to let a skilled attorney speak with the insurance company on your behalf.
If even after speaking with your attorney, the insurance company denies your claim, your attorney may decide that it is best to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and the insurance company. Once a lawsuit has been filed, your attorney continues to represent your interests and ensures that your legal rights remain protected throughout the case, whether it settles or must go to trial.
At Kuvara Law Firm, We Are Experienced in Insurance Denials
The attorneys at Kuvara Law Firm are experienced in personal injury claims of all types and understand how frustrating it can be to deal with an insurance company. To schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and our services, contact us.