A car accident can inflict substantial suffering but so can navigating the claims process after a wreck. There are a number of pitfalls a claimant can encounter when dealing with auto insurance companies. In some cases, an insurance company can outright deny your claim—leaving you with high medical bills, lost income, and financial hardships. Following are the top five reasons an insurance company might affect your rights to fair compensation.
#1 Lapses in Coverage
If the motorist who hit you hasn’t paid their premiums or is uninsured, the at-fault party’s former insurance company is not responsible for your claims. While this is an unfortunate situation, car accident victims do have options in the state of Texas. Since Texas requires that drivers carry uninsured motorist protection on their policies, an attorney can help with filing claims with your own insurance company when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance.
#2 Delays in Providing Information to an Insurance Company
In the aftermath of a car accident, many motorists are overwhelmed. They might also be seriously injured. These scenarios make it difficult to provide all necessary information to insurance companies to settle claims. Additionally, some insurance companies make the process of supplying information exceedingly difficult with the hopes that the party filing the claim will give up. After a period of time, an unresolved claim might be closed by an adjuster, too—which further delays receiving settlements. Working with an attorney can help you avoid the pitfalls associated with complicated insurance procedures and ensure that all the information is provided to adjusters in a timely manner. A personal injury law firm can take a significant amount of pressure off victims so that they can focus on their recovery.
#3 Disputes Over Liability
Disputed liability is a common reason for insurance companies denying claims. If an insurance company can demonstrate doubt over who is at fault for an accident, they will most likely deny a claim. This scenario is another reason why consulting with a personal injury attorney before communicating with an insurance company is beneficial. An attorney can help you demonstrate the facts of your case and protect your rights to a fair settlement.
#4 Victims Accept Inadequate Settlements
As mentioned previously, the insurance industry is tricky and out to minimize or deny your claim outright. When medical treatment is involved, costs can become exorbitant and surprising. Consider this scenario: a victim accepts the insurance company’s first offer of settlement before knowing exactly the amount of her medical bills. However, the victim’s medical bills exceed that settlement by thousands of dollars. The victim is now stuck with these bills and has no recourse for seeking more compensation from the insurance company to cover them.
Accepting an inadequate settlement can affect your financial livelihood and your recovery. Experienced personal injury attorneys are well-versed in what constitutes a fair settlement and can help anticipate costs that a victim might not consider. Before accepting settlements from an insurance company, it is strongly advised to consult with a top-notch personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.
#5 Adjusters Blame Pre-Existing Conditions for Medical Claims
Sometimes, insurance adjusters deny claims because of pre-existing medical conditions. For example, a victim might have had back surgery in the past for an old sports injury. Even though the car accident they just endured injured their spine, an adjuster might blame symptoms on the previous injury to avoid paying on a valid claim. This type of scenario is common and can be devastating for a victim’s recovery.
There are a few ways that injured parties can avoid the pitfalls of denied claims associated with pre-existing conditions. First, victims should know that they have rights to compensation if a car accident aggravated an existing condition. Second, general medical authorizations that give adjusters unfettered access to medical records should not be signed. If you feel that your medical history could affect your rights to fair compensation, we recommend speaking with an attorney as soon as possible.
The Harmonson Law Firm serves clients in and around El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Our personal injury firm has extensive experience representing clients after car accidents. We understand the ins and outs of the insurance industry and the laws in Texas and New Mexico that can affect the outcome of your case.