A denied car insurance claim can be shocking news after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Before you pay out-of-pocket for your losses, consider talking to a car accident lawyer about your legal rights.
If you have been in a car accident in South Dakota and an uninsured or underinsured driver is at fault, you will likely need to file a claim with your car insurance company before you can receive the money that will cover your losses. Unfortunately, even if your policy includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, your provider may still deny your claim. Sometimes insurance companies do not explicitly deny your claim but instead just refuse to pay, try to make you jump through unnecessary hoops, or suggest your claim is worth a lot less than it really is. While the insurance company will claim they have not denied your claim, those can be forms of denial. A qualified South Dakota car accident lawyer will tell you that a denial is not necessarily the end of the story. You can still appeal the denied car insurance claim and possibly even prove that the company denied your claim in bad faith.
Gathering Key Insurance Information
If your car insurance company denies your claim, the first thing you should do is review the section of your policy that details your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and take note of their reason for the denial. If the reason contradicts the terms of your car insurance policy or if there is no reason given at all, the claim may have been denied in bad faith. If this is the case, explore your legal options with a South Dakota car accident lawyer before you spend time researching how to appeal a denied car insurance claim.
Investigating Insurance Bad Faith
Your own car insurance company has a legal duty to act in good faith and uphold your insurance policy. This means they must provide the coverage they promised. However, whether car insurance companies are for-profit companies or mutual insurance companies, they often have the sole business goal of making money. By denying claims whenever possible, they can avoid making costly payments that hurt their bottom line—even if it leaves you, the policy-holding, paying customer, with few options.
Fortunately, a South Dakota car accident lawyer can help you determine whether your denied insurance claim is a case of bad faith that violates your policy and the South Dakota insurance code. This can open your car insurance company up to harsh legal penalties. Resolving a denied car insurance claim can involve a lengthy legal process, so you will want the help of a experienced attorney who has insight into options such as litigation, mediation, and arbitration. By filing a lawsuit against your insurance company, you send a strong message that you are going to fight for the compensation you deserve and were promised in your policy.
Appealing the Denied Car Insurance Claim
If you choose to appeal a denied car insurance claim, you should begin with a calm but firm discussion with your insurance adjuster. Adjusters often make an initial offer that is considerably lower than what the claim is worth or simply deny it if they think they can argue your policy does not cover your claim. By calmly pointing out exactly why your claim is covered by uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you may get your adjuster to change their mind and make a better offer. If this initial discussion with your adjuster does not go as you would have hoped, contact a car accident lawyer to determine whether your claim was denied in bad faith.
If your car insurance claim was denied and you want advice from a South Dakota car accident lawyer, contact Turbak Law Office at 866-231-0914 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.