Do I Need a Lawyer If the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
If the other driver’s insurance company denies your claim after a serious injury – and that driver was indeed at-fault for the crash – you should seek a lawyer to represent your claim as soon as possible. The burden of proof has now shifted to you to substantiate your claim of negligence or recklessness on the part of the at-fault driver, and for that you need legal counsel.
The New York City car accident lawyers of Douglas and London will protect your interests and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys have recovered $18 billion in settlements and verdicts for their personal injury clients.
Reasons for denial
Determining the reason for the claim denial is critical. Generally, either the other driver’s insurance company does not believe their client was at-fault for the collision, or the insurer is counting on you not pursuing the claim further after denial. Once an attorney is hired, however, the insurance company should look into the claim more carefully because it knows you are serious regarding your claim.
Other factors may play a role. For example, if the accident was not reported to the insurance company promptly, which is part of the insurance policy contract, the other driver’s insurance company may deny the claim on that basis.
It is also possible the other driver’s insurance company is denying the claim because the at-fault driver failed to pay his or her premium, thus allowing the car insurance policy to lapse. Under such circumstances, you may have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover damages.
Sometimes, the reason for the denial is not that the at-fault driver did not cause the accident, but that the insurance company does not believe the injuries suffered are either as severe as alleged or did not happen because of that crash. This is one reason it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after any car accident, even if you initially do not think you were hurt badly. Any delay in treatment can bolster the insurance company’s claim that your injuries resulted from another incident or were pre-existing and unrelated to the car crash.
Appealing the denial
Every insurance company has some sort of process for appealing claim denials. An attorney will collect the evidence and submit this appeal on your behalf. Always give your lawyer all of the facts regarding the accident and avoid misrepresenting the situation. For example, if you were on a cellphone at the time of the accident, do not tell your attorney otherwise.
Providing documentation that the other driver was indeed at-fault is essential to your claim. Such evidence may include the police report, eyewitness interviews, photos and videos taken at the scene of the crash, the mechanic’s report on the extent of the damage to your car, and perhaps surveillance videos from nearby businesses or roadways.
Perhaps the police report was inclusive when it comes to which driver was responsible for the accident. An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation and may hire accident reconstruction experts to provide their opinions on which driver caused the collision.
Additional documentation includes proof of your injuries, which involve doctor’s reports, X-rays and other diagnostic tests, and the scope of your impairment.
Personal injury lawsuit
If the appeals process still results in a denial, then the next step is filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In New York, this is only possible when the accident victim suffers serious injuries. In New York, injuries falling outside of the state’s no-fault system for filing third-party lawsuits include:
- Bone fractures
- “Significant” disfigurement
- Permanent impairment of body part or organ
- Significant limitation of such parts or organs
- Minimum of 90 days’ disability
Contact a New York car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one were seriously harmed in a motor vehicle accident caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness and your claim was denied by their insurer, you need the services of the experienced New York City personal injury lawyers at Douglas and London. We offer free consultations, which you can arrange by calling 24/7 or contacting us online.
We will review your case, including police and medical reports, and advise you of your options. The majority of cases are settled, but we will take your case to trial if necessary. Hablamos Espanol.