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What Happens if Your Insurance Claim is Denied

What Happens If Your
Insurance Claim Is Denied?

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After a car accident, you may be suffering from serious injuries, facing vehicle repairs, and struggling to get back to work. With all this on your plate, the last thing you need is to hear that your insurance claim has been denied. Receiving that denial in the mail can be frustrating, infuriating, heartbreaking, or all of the above. But a denial is not the end of the road.

A skilled auto insurance lawyer can help you fight back when your claim has been denied. At The Parrish Law Firm, our car accident lawyers have extensive experience handling these types of cases. Much of our success is due to attorney James R. Parrish’s background as a former insurance company attorney. He knows exactly how the insurance companies work, why they try to deny car accident claims, and how to fight for the compensation you need.

Contact us now to discuss your claim and how our dedicated legal team can help you get past a denial.

How an Auto Insurance Lawyer Can Help If Your Claim Was Denied

If your claim was denied, a skilled auto insurance lawyer will:

  • Double-check the insurance company’s work. Insurance companies can make mistakes, and a simple mistake can cause big headaches. For example, if the claim is denied because the insurance company believes that you are not a “named insured” on the policy, the attorney may simply double-check your policy to prove that your name is listed. If the insurer claims that the policy has lapsed, your lawyer will need to find a check stub, bank statement, or other paperwork that proves when you last paid your premium.
  • Gather additional evidence. Some denials are more complicated to refute and will require your lawyer to dig for more evidence. For instance, if the insurance company denies your claim because it says you were not as badly injured as you say you were, your lawyer will have to collect and provide the medical evidence to refute the denial.
  • Appeal the insurance company’s denial. This can be done through the insurance company’s internal system, through Virginia’s Bureau of Insurance or in the courts. An experienced Virigina car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence and prepare for any hearings or court dates.

Understanding Why Insurance Claims Get Denied

Included in the notice that your claim has been denied will be a reason the insurance company gives for denying it. Some of the more common reasons that insurance claims are denied include:

  • There is a dispute over the accident. The insurance company may claim that their policyholder did not cause the accident. Or they may try to claim that the accident didn’t cause the injuries or damage that you say it did.
  • A policy exclusion applies. The “exclusions” section of an insurance policy typically includes a long list of things the policy does not The insurance company may claim that the accident falls under one of these exclusions and therefore is not covered by the policy. For instance, the policy might exclude “acts of God” or damage that was done intentionally.
  • The policy has lapsed. If the premium payments aren’t up to date, the policy may have “lapsed,” meaning that it was not in effect when the accident took place.
  • The person or vehicle isn’t listed on the policy. If you or the other driver was not a “named insured” on the policy, or if the vehicle involved in the crash wasn’t listed on the policy, you may have difficulties getting coverage. Typically, insurance policies only cover certain listed people and vehicles.
  • The claim exceeds coverage limits. Auto insurance policies only pay for certain types of losses up to a certain dollar amount. Any claim over this dollar amount will not be paid, unless some other coverage applies.
  • The insurance company wasn’t notified of the accident. Policyholders have a responsibility to notify their insurance company within a certain amount of time after an accident takes place – the specific time limit is usually listed in the policy. If the insurance company wasn’t notified, it may say that it didn’t get the chance to investigate, and therefore it will deny the claim.

What Is the “Duty to Act in Good Faith”?

An insurance policy is a contract. In exchange for paying your premiums and meeting your other responsibilities (such as the responsibility to report an accident in a timely manner), the insurance company agrees to pay claims unless one of the exclusions applies.

As with any contract, the parties to an insurance contract – you and the insurance company – are expected to act “in good faith.” In other words, both parties are expected to deal with one another honestly and with sincere intentions.

When an insurance company denies a claim without a legitimate reason to do so, it may be found to have violated this duty to act in good faith. Several different types of actions fall under the “failure to act in good faith” category in many states. For instance, an insurance company may be found to be acting in bad faith if it misrepresents the policy or coverage, fails to respond to communications about your claim, doesn’t attempt to settle claims in which liability is clear, doesn’t do a reasonable investigation, or tries to settle your claim for far less than it is reasonably worth.

If you suspect an insurance company is acting in bad faith, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced auto insurance lawyer. Your attorney can help you determine whether the insurance company is violating its agreement with you and help you to hold it accountable.

Talk to a Skilled Auto Insurance Lawyer Today

Insurance companies work hard to avoid paying claims unless they have to, and they count on the fact that many policyholders don’t have experience or familiarity with insurance law. That’s why when a claim is denied, you need someone with experience and knowledge on your side.

Manassas car accident lawyer Jim Parrish knows firsthand how insurance companies work to deny claims, and he is dedicated to seeking justice for the injured people and families who desperately need car accident compensation.

Whether you are suffering from injuries after an auto accident in Manassas, Fairfax, Warrenton, or elsewhere in Northern Virginia, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation about your claim.

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