Q: When you’re involved in a car accident, you can be confused and unsure of what to do next?
A: If someone else caused the accident, it’s easy to assume you’ll file a claim with their insurance company and get your car repaired. If you’re injured, you’ll allow the other insurance company to handle your medical bills, everything will be cared for, and you’ll move on with your life the way you were meant to from the start. It’s a simple process in your mind, but it’s anything but simple in reality.
There is no right or wrong way to file a claim, and there is no guarantee the other insurance company is going to cover the issues you’re having. In some instances, the other driver and his or her insurance company might do something shocking and deny they had anything to do with the accident.
Q: When the other party makes noises about denying liability for an accident, the entire situation shifts out of your favor?
We deal with insurance company denials everyday.
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Q: What Should I do if the Party is Denying Liability?
A: You’ve called to report the accident to the insurance company of the at-fault driver, and now you’re waiting on them to get back to you about your claim. They’ve had plenty of time to go over the paperwork and get the information they need, but they haven’t said anything to you at this point. When you call to find out where you stand in terms of your account, they tell you that they’ve decided they are not liable for the claim and won’t be paying anything to you or your family.
The first thing you should do is ask for proof. Why do they believe they owe you nothing? You want proof of their stance, and you want it immediately. They are required to provide you with the proof you need to find out whether or not they are liable. What they have that’s telling them they owe you nothing for the accident is not something they can keep private. You want to see their documentation of the incident, and they have no choice but to provide that for you. Once you have this information, you’re free to argue the point where it’s necessary.
The most common argument insurance companies use when denying claims is that the officers on the scene of the accident did not state it was the fault of their client. They’ll argue that nothing in the police accident report supports this information, and they’ll say they are paying nothing as a result. Your job now is to find proof that the accident was caused by someone else. This could be done by hiring an attorney to take your case.
Before you do that you might consider calling your own insurance company. Most insurance companies will pay the repairs and bills for you and then fight the other insurance company for reimbursement. You’ll need to pay your own deductible, but it’s usually more cost-effective to do this than it is to go through with paying for expensive repairs on your own. Call your insurance company and ask them what they suggest you do. Many might tell you the best thing you can do is file a complaint with the other insurer while they fight for reimbursement.
If that doesn’t work, your next step is to contact an attorney. This might not always be necessary, but it is if you have been injured and the medical bills are already beginning to accrue. If the other insurance company is denying your claim, you might need to go further to collect damages that will cover the cost of your repairs and your medical bills as a result of your injuries. An attorney can look at all the evidence from the accident, recreate the scene of the crime, and they can determine who is at-fault. This might include taking the other insurance company and the driver of the other car to court to have a judge make the final ruling. Since most insurance companies are unwilling to go that far, they usually offer a settlement.
If the other insurance company is denying the liability from the accident their client caused, you become easily frustrated. It happens more than you imagine, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling upset by this. Before you do anything you might regret, understand how the law works where you live. If you live in a no-fault state, it might not even matter if the other company denies the claim. They don’t owe you anything to begin with in a state like this one, and it might mean you are worried about nothing. Call your insurance company to find out what they can do and see what they recommend before you take action in a case like this one.