You Don’t Have to Accept a Claim Denial
An accident can take just moments to happen—but take months, if not years, to recover from. As medical bills pile up while you’re still unable to work, having a claim denied by an insurance company can be frustrating and stressful, to say the least.
Insurance companies have built their empires by providing a service to others while maximizing their profits through nitpicking claims, stalling, and exploiting the general public’s ignorance regarding their policies. If your claim has been denied by an insurance company, hope is not lost. Here are the steps you can take to fight for recovery.
The Claims Process
To understand what to do when your claim is denied, it is important to know the entire claims process. The claim process may end quickly at the first settlement phase, or it can last for months or years if the insurance company forces you to hold them responsible in court. The first step is where many people endanger their chances of getting compensation: report an accident promptly to an insurance company.
Steps in the claims process include:
- Investigation – The initial period of information gathering. Police reports, witness testimony, and medical histories are reviewed to build a case on both sides.
- Initial Settlement – At this stage, an initial settlement may be offered by the insurance company. This early offer is typically low and designed to maximize profits for the insurance provider. An agreement accompanies the acceptance of this settlement stating that you are giving up the ability to pursue further compensation through litigation.
- Demand Letter – This is the letter that is submitted as a counter-offer after declining an initial settlement. A demand letter must be thorough in outlining the reasons why it is being sent. These reasons include medical bills, cost of repairs, time lost from work, and mental or physical anguish.
- Negotiation/Litigation – If your demand letter is not accepted, your attorney will attempt to negotiate with the company. After negotiations fail, litigation may be necessary. This process can take anywhere from a few months to many years.
- Final Settlement – A settlement is only reached with the client’s final approval and any outstanding payments are made. Once a settlement is agreed upon, a release of claims is signed, eliminating the possibility of further litigation.
As mentioned above, a claim may be settled as early as the first stage of initial settlement. Though this may take just a few days and seem convenient, it is not always the wisest decision to accept the initial settlement. This first settlement is usually a low offer designed to take away your ability to legally pursue more compensation, especially in cases involving personal injury.
The Best Way to Defeat Denial Is With an Experienced Attorney
A claim may be denied almost immediately after it is submitted. However, having a denied claim request at any point is not a sign of defeat, despite what the insurance companies may lead you to believe. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best way of making sure that you are not taken advantage of. No one should be expected to navigate the complicated language and practices of the insurance world alone.
The Pennsylvania car accident attorneys at HHR know that your fight isn’t over simply because a large insurance company has denied your claim. We have been proudly serving the citizens of Pennsylvania since 1922. With nearly 100 years of experience, HHR has handled tens of thousands of car accident claims. We’ve won tens of millions of dollars for people who have struggled receiving the proper compensation after serious injuries.
Our case reviews are free, so you can fully explore your financial and legal options. Our attorneys work from offices in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Carlisle, York, and Hanover and may be contacted at (888) 498-3023.