When you are involved in a car accident that is the other person’s fault, it is natural to assume you will simply file a claim and the liable party’s insurance company will cover your car repairs, medical expenses, and any other damages.
Unfortunately, the process isn’t always so straightforward. What seems like a clear-cut situation to you might not be so obvious to the other person and their insurance company, who could deny your claim. In some cases, an insurance company may challenge your claims because they don’t believe their client is at fault. At other times, they may try to get you to settle for less than you deserve. Whatever the reason, when a claim is wrongfully denied, it can turn the aftermath of a car accident into an emotionally and financially taxing situation for the victim.
It doesn’t have to be the end of the story, though. If your claim has been wrongfully denied, you have every right to fight back and receive what is owed to you. Here is how to proceed:
- Get an experienced car accident attorney.
Car accident claims, especially ones wrongfully denied, can quickly turn into complex, confusing situations for the average driver. While you could try to appeal a denied claim yourself, it’s in your best interest to seek the help of a personal injury attorney who can help you recover what’s rightfully owed to you.
But don’t just seek any lawyer. The person you choose to represent you should have proven experience in successfully handling both car accident claims and cases of wrongful denial. They will have deep knowledge of exactly how car insurance companies work, the reasons they would deny a claim, and how to effectively fight back to get what you deserve in the aftermath of an accident. They should also have experience in handling cases in your specific city and state, as laws can vary from one geographic location to the next.
- Review your evidence.
In the aftermath of any car accident, you need to gather as much evidence as possible that could prove you were not at fault. Even when damage seems minimal, you should file a police report, take photos, gather statements from nearby witnesses, and seek medical attention for any injuries or potential injuries.
Save all of these documents as well as any additional medical bills and other statements you may have received after filing the initial claim. You will need to go through the information again when working with an attorney to appeal the insurance company’s denial. Remember, recovering your claim will depend on your being able to establish proof that someone else was at fault, and evidence plays a crucial part here.
- Work with your attorney on a demand letter.
Your attorney will in all likelihood draft up a demand letter, which details why the other driver was at fault, what precisely you are owed, and gives the insurance company the chance to settle the claim before any further legal action is taken.
A demand letter written by your attorney has a greater chance of soliciting a response from the insurance company, whether it’s to provide a more detailed explanation as to why they denied the claim, offer a settlement, or, in some cases, reverse the denial outright.
- Understand when (and when not) to press a lawsuit.
If your claim is still denied after the demand letter, you will need to discuss the merits of pursuing further litigation with your attorney. Since all car accidents come with their own unique circumstances and no two claims are exactly the same, filing a lawsuit may or may not make sense for you. For example, if the costs of the lawsuit would outweigh your damages, a good attorney would likely not encourage you to pursue this route. In some cases, even a victory in court wouldn’t be able to offset the money you would spend reaching that outcome via a lawsuit.
This is why it’s so important to align yourself with an experienced attorney who will understand all the different options at hand and be able to help you decide which course of action will best serve your situation. If you believe you have been wrongfully denied a claim after a car accident, reach out to our Chicago car accident lawyers today to start a conversation.