After a car accident, if your car insurance claim is denied for coverage reasons or due to your alleged negligence, or the claim is simply denied without adequate explanation, a car accident lawyer can be a valuable asset when dealing with the red tape involved in appealing a denied claim.
Often, claims are denied due to procedural or reporting deficiencies that adjusters are not allowed to ignore. Other claims are simply denied as a matter of course, in the hopes that the claimant won’t appeal the decision, thus saving the insurance company money. Often, the denials are specifically worded to convey very little information, or information that could be misleading to a layperson. A car accident attorney knows how to speak an insurance adjuster’s language, and is well-positioned to determine exactly why a claim was denied.
The average person will likely not be a priority for an insurance adjuster. Adjusters deal with thousands of claims at any given time, and your claim is not necessarily “important” to them, even though it may be to you. What adjusters abhor, however, is a car accident lawsuit. So they are not prone to ignore phone calls from attorneys. A good car accident lawyer will know how to get an adjuster’s attention -- politely, but firmly. Even the vague threat of litigation is usually enough to trigger a prompt return phone call from an adjuster who is suddenly very willing to review your denial and revisit his or her decision.
Communicating with insurance adjusters is an art. They are often overworked and underpaid, micromanaged, and charged with paying as few claims as possible. If you’ve been in a car accident and your claim was denied, it is likely that the situation is emotionally charged for you. This often leads to contentious arguments that can hurt your chance of recovery. A car accident lawyer can professionally and dispassionately explain to an adjuster why they were wrong to deny your claim, usually without personally offending them. Leaving the emotions out of it may be very difficult for you. For a car accident lawyer, it is a trick of the trade.
It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to try to bully claimants by telling them their case has no merit. A car accident lawyer will be able to look at your claim and fairly quickly decide whether the denial was justified or not. If the denial was not justified, a car accident lawyer will be able to explain just how much money it will cost the insurance company if your case results in a lawsuit. While you are free to tell an adjuster “if you keep denying my claim, I’ll sue,” a car accident lawyer can say “if you deny this claim, we’ll sue. And we will win because the law says X, and you will be on the hook for a large sum of money because of Y.” A car accident lawyer’s ability to provide an adjuster with specific legal reasons as to why their denial was inappropriate can go a long way toward resolving a claim short of litigation.
In the event that the denial is not reversed, a car accident lawyer will be able to assist you in filing suit against either the at-fault driver, their insurance company, or both. If you are in a no-fault car insurance state, a car accident lawyer can assist you in filing a first-party lawsuit against your own insurance company if they are denying your claim.
Insurance adjusters are almost always going to take a lawyer more seriously than they would an unrepresented claimant. If you have been in a car accident and your insurance claim was denied, a car accident lawyer can help you deal with the insurance company and come away with a satisfactory result.