When you are involved in a serious car accident, you expect the insurance company of the at-fault driver to compensate you for your losses.
Even though insurance adjusters may act friendly and seem concerned about you, they are not on your side. It is the adjuster’s job to limit the insurance company’s liability and minimize the payment of claims to protect the company’s profits. When you file a car accident claim, an insurer may offer a low-ball settlement offer to try to settle the case quickly or deny the claim outright.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we’ve put together a list of some of the common reasons insurance companies give for denying claims. Insurance companies have a responsibility to negotiate in good faith to settle claims. But they often try to delay or deny valid claims. When you are represented by lawyers who know how insurance companies operate, you have a better chance of getting the just compensation you need.
Reason 1: You Are At-Fault
An insurance company may deny your claim because it deems you are wholly or partly at fault for a crash. Nevada uses a modified comparative fault system in determining compensation after accidents. Accident victims can recover compensation after an accident, but any compensation awarded will be reduced by the percentage of fault the accident victim bears for the crash. If your level of fault is 50 percent or more, you are generally barred from collecting any compensation for your injuries. Courts apply the comparative fault system when awarding damages. Insurers also use comparative fault as a guide when handling claims.
An insurance company may take the position that you are primarily at fault for a car accident and therefore ineligible to receive compensation. When liability is in dispute after a serious crash, you should have an experienced Las Vegas attorney who understands insurance company tactics advocating for you.
Reason 2: There Is No Medical Documentation To Support Your Claim
Seeking medical attention immediately after an accident is critical not only to your health but to any injury claim you may file. Medical documentation of your injuries will be crucial if you make an insurance claim. If you don’t visit a doctor promptly after an accident, the insurance company has no way of knowing if your injuries are a result of the car accident or some other mishap. If you don’t have proof that your injuries are crash-related, you can expect the insurer to deny your claim.
Do not wait to seek medical help. Visit a physician immediately after the crash and keep all your follow-up appointments. If you experience pain days or even weeks after an accident, schedule another appointment.
Reason 3: Pre-Existing Condition
If you have preexisting medical conditions, an insurer may contend that your injury is related to the pre-existing condition and deny your claim. Don’t sign a release allowing the insurance company to have access to your medical record. The insurance adjusters want to rifle through your medical file looking for pre-existing conditions that can be used to justify denying your injury claim. Talk to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer before allowing an insurance company access to your medical file.
Reason 4: There Is No Proof an Accident Took Place
How can there be no proof that an accident happened? In some situations, the other driver may promise to pay you out of pocket and try to convince you not to report the accident to the police. Do not listen. Even if the driver is sincere, the driver may change their mind after leaving the scene and you will have no proof as to who caused the accident. If you are involved in a crash, documentation of the accident by police is crucial.
Call law enforcement and report the accident. Document the accident as thoroughly as you can. Take pictures of the crash site and the damage to both vehicles. You may also want to ask witnesses for their contact information. The police report, your photos, and witness statements can establish the viability of your claim and prevent it from being rejected for a lack of evidence.
Reason 5: Your Claim Exceeds Policy Coverage
Did you suffer severe injuries? If so, your losses may exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance. When this happens, you may only get paid up to the maximum policy amount. You may need to file a claim against your own underinsured motorist insurance policy if your losses exceed the other driver’s policy limit.
Reason 6: There Is a Lapse in Insurance Coverage
Drivers are required by law to maintain insurance coverage on their vehicles. However, the driver who caused the crash in which you were injured may have failed to pay their auto insurance premiums. The insurance company may deny your injury claim because the at-fault driver has let their auto insurance lapse. Unfortunately, Nevada has many uninsured drivers on the road.
If the at-fault driver was driving without insurance when the accident occurred, you may need to file a claim against your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
Reason 7: You Didn’t File a Claim in Time
If you wait too long to file a car accident claim, your claim can be denied as untimely. All policies have specific time limits for notification of a claim and deadlines for filing the claim.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
Insurance companies deny car accident claims for many reasons. They are more interested in protecting their profits than treating you fairly after an accident. If you are injured in a serious auto accident in Nevada, you need to consult with a skilled Las Vegas car accident attorney. If your claim has already been denied, you need to consult with a Las Vegas car accident attorney. A denial doesn’t have to be the end of your pursuit of just compensation. Let our attorneys review your legal options during a free consultation.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, our attorneys believe that you deserve What’s Right. We are ready to fight for you and help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life after an accident. Get in touch with us today to set up a no-risk case evaluation.