Factors That May Contribute to the Denial of Your Insurance Claim
The steps towards recovery after a car accident can be an experience that’s as frustrating as it is challenging. As you wait for your claim to be processed and approved, your life is on hold. Your car transports you to work, takes you to the grocery store, and plays a role in nearly every part of your daily responsibilities. As a result, having a damaged or totaled vehicle is a major inconvenience that can contribute to a serious loss of your livelihood.
Adding to this pressure are medical bills from the accident. As their due date approaches, your stress levels increase—and insurers are counting on this. Insurance companies are businesses that are ultimately seeking a profit. This means that providers will utilize several tactics to protect profits by denying your claim.
Here are some factors which may contribute to the denial of your claim:
You Did Not File a Claim on Time
Most insurance policies have strict time limits for making a claim. Though specific times vary, they can be as broad as “promptly” to being within 24 hours of the accident. If both parties fail to make a claim in a timely manner, the insurance provider may deny your claim.
Just as in many other states, Pennsylvania law also places a time limit on the period in which you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit. These statutory rules state that you must act within two years from the date of the incident. Failing to meet this requirement will encourage an insurance company to deny your claim and you will be unable to dispute their decision.
Pennsylvania Is a No-Fault State
Importantly, a claim may be denied in the state of Pennsylvania depending on how you are covered by your specific type of policy. Pennsylvania is a “no-fault” state, which blocks individuals from pursuing compensation from the opposite party’s insurance, even when the opposite party is at fault. However, drivers may opt out of the no-fault system if they have full tort insurance—which is slightly more expensive than other insurance options.
Though limited tort insurance may initially save you money, it prevents you from seeking damages from the other party, regardless of who caused the accident. Those with limited tort insurance must use their own insurance for all damages and are not able to make a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance.
Full tort policies enable holders to pursue the recovery of their damages from another person’s insurance. These policies provide additional options in the event of a serious accident. As a result, we recommend getting full tort coverage, though it costs more.
Your Vehicle’s Value Has Changed
If you modify your car in a way that adds to its value or have recently bought a new car and did not inform your provider, they may deny your claim or offer a lower settlement based on your car’s previous value.
There Was an Inadequate Amount of Record-Keeping
Recording the facts at the scene of an accident is crucial. It is important to make sure a police report was filed. In Pennsylvania, if no police were at the scene, you must complete a Driver’s Accident Report within 5 days of the accident.
When speaking to a law enforcement official who will be filing a report, be certain to provide as many details as possible. These details should include the events leading up to the accident as well as any pain that you may be feeling. Accurate reporting from a law enforcement officer will strengthen your case and make claim denial difficult.
Additionally, medical records must be thorough and timely. Delayed medical appointments may look suspicious to an insurance company and cause enough doubt for a claim to be denied. This means that, even if you are not in any initial pain, you must see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. If a medical report is not complete or is missing information, an insurance company may also take advantage of this and deny or diminish your claim.
Your medical records are the support for any claims you are making for damage recovery.
You Don’t Understand Your Policy
Not understanding your insurance policy may provide an insurance company with room to wiggle out of compensating you properly. Policies are purposely convoluted and complicated to understand so they give insurance companies an opportunity to minimize your settlement. If you are having difficulty understanding your policy, it is time to speak with a personal injury lawyer who will be able to navigate through the complicated language of insurance policies.
At HHR, We Fight For Maximum Recovery
Having a denied claim does not mean you have lost. The Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg believe that victims injured due to negligence deserve to be financially compensated for their losses. Since 1922, we have fought for the wellbeing of our clients in the state of Pennsylvania. We are proud to have secured tens of millions in verdicts and settlements, and we are ready to apply this experience to your case today. With this vast experience, we know every method that insurance companies will try to use to take money from you.
If your insurance claim has been denied following a car or truck accident, contact us today at (888) 498-3023. Our lawyers offer free consultation and have offices in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Carlisle, Hanover and York.