Has an Insurance Company Denied Your Claim?
Being involved in a car accident is often a traumatic event. Regardless of whether your accident was a minor fender bender or a more serious collision, the sudden and unexpected nature of an automobile accident creates a lot of stress and uncertainty. Isn’t this why we carry car insurance – for protection in the event of the unexpected? Unfortunately, trusting in the insurance company to compensate you fairly and adequately in the aftermath of a car accident may be an unrealistic expectation. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with your own or the other driver’s automobile insurance carrier, if they can find a reason to forego paying on your claim, they will. If you’ve been injured or suffered damages due to a car accident, it’s important to be aware of some of the tactics the insurance company may use for denying your claim.
Common Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Claims
Once the insurance company has been notified of an accident, a claims adjuster is assigned to the case. The adjuster will review the details of what happened, and will contact you to get your side of the story. In addition to your own statements, part of how an insurance company investigates accident claims is by reviewing police reports, getting statements from witnesses, visiting the accident scene, and inspecting your car for damages. During this process, the insurance adjuster can find any number of reasons to justify denying your claim. Common reasons include:
- Denying liability by claiming that you were at fault, or that the accident didn’t happen as you described
- Disputing the nature or severity of your injuries, or disputing the amount of medical care and treatment you’ll likely need to recover
- Using your own words against you by obtaining recorded statements in the immediate aftermath of the accident, in which you may still be slightly foggy regarding what happened, or likely to downplay the significance of your injuries or damages
Ways to Protect Yourself Against Having Your Claim Denied
The South Carolina Department of Insurance has information for consumers on dealing with insurance companies and denied claims. Once you’re aware of the potential reasons the insurance company may use to deny your claim, it’s easier to protect yourself and not give them the ammunition they need to deny your claim. When dealing with car insurance companies in the aftermath of an accident, take the following precautions to protect yourself:
- Don’t give a recorded statement: Even if you feel you have ‘nothing to hide’, these types of statements can hurt you in the long run
- Don’t sign any medical release forms or requests for access to your records: It’s likely the insurance company will try to use this information – as well as any pre-existing conditions – against you
- Don’t agree to a quick settlement: Often the insurance company will offer an inadequately low settlement, and pressure you to sign it
- Consult an attorney: The insurance company will try to convince you they are on your side. They’re not. Consult with an experienced attorney who can look out for your best interests
It’s also important to be aware of the impact of social media, in terms of surveillance. While you’re awaiting settlement of your claim, be cautious of what you post. If you claim to have injured your back in your accident, yet post photos of you lifting weights, the insurance company can use that information to dispute your claim.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys
Remember, while the insurance company is protecting their interests, you need someone to protect yours. At Anastopoulo Law Firm our experienced car accident attorneys have had extensive training in dealing with insurance companies. We know their tactics and know how to negotiate the best settlement offers for our clients. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, we can help you get the compensation for your injuries you deserve. Call Akim Anastopoulo today for a free review of your case.