Most people know to call their insurance companies to file a claim after a car accident. You pay for car insurance for just such times – when you are in an accident involving personal injuries or property damages. Now that the worst has happened, you reasonably expect your insurance company to step up and handle the damages. Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes deny policyholder claims. When this happens, accident victims find themselves at a loss as to how to cover medical and other expenses out of pocket. In these situations, it is important to know why the insurance company denied the claim.
You Caused the Accident
If the insurance company investigates your claim and comes to the conclusion that you could have reasonably done something to prevent the accident, or that you contributed to the cause of the accident, it can deny your claim. This is often the case when the driver was negligent or reckless at the time of the accident, such as drunk driving or texting and driving. If the driver was breaking the law at the time of the crash, the insurance policy is ineffective.
When you have reason to believe that an insurance company denied your claim because it blames you for the accident, contact a West Virginia insurance bad faith lawyer. Insurance adjusters often do not have your best interest at heart, as they do not wish to pay for damages unless they absolutely must. An attorney, on the other hand, will do everything in his or her power to place fault with the other driver or a roadway condition.
You Failed to Seek Medical Attention for Injuries
If you fail to seek medical attention directly after an accident, the insurance company can take this as proof that injuries were not very severe or that you did not sustain an injury at all. The same is true if you fail to follow the treatment directions laid out by a doctor. The insurance company can state that your injuries would not be as severe had you followed the doctor’s orders exactly. If you wait to see a doctor, insurers will have a stronger case against you.
Accident victims with injuries must seek medical attention right away and keep copies of medical records that indicate pain or injury. If there are no medical records, or if the records indicate no injury, the insurance company will likely deny your claim on the grounds that you did not sustain an injury. The company can assert that you actually sustained the injury sometime before the accident and are simply using the crash as an excuse to obtain compensation for a pre-existing injury. The company may also blame your injuries on a condition that you had before the accident.
Unfortunately, there is a large amount of insurance fraud in which accident victims lie about or exaggerate their injuries to receive money from insurers. Due to this fact, insurance companies are more stringent about which claims they accept and deny. Even if you suffer genuine injuries from an accident, failing to see a doctor can be enough evidence against you to make seeking compensation impossible.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims
If your insurance company denies your claim after an accident, contact the company to learn more about the reason for your denial. If the reason your company gives does not apply to you, you may have a case of a bad faith insurance company. This occurs when an insurance company does not fulfill its end of an insurance policy agreement. Contact a personal injury attorney in West Virginia with extensive experience in insurance bad faith cases to file a claim against the company and receive the benefits that you deserve following an accident.