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Why Most Car Accident Claims are Denied

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Hit & Run Accidents, Insurance, Motorcycle Accidents, Truck Accidents


Car accident victims typically believe they can easily secure the compensation they need and deserve through an insurance claim.

However, many are shocked to find their insurance claim was denied or an offer does not fully cover their damages. Here’s more about why car accident claims are commonly denied, what to expect from the insurance company, and the steps you can take if you receive a claim denial.

Chicago Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side

Insurance adjusters do not look out for your interests. They work for the insurance company to protect their policyholder and avoid profit loss. If they can get away with reducing or denying you compensation, they will.

There are many tactics insurance companies use to accomplish this. You must have a clear understanding of the insurance company’s role, the compensation they are required to pay, and the tactics they use to avoid paying your claim.

The Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Car Accident Claims

Insurance companies have been known to deny car accident claims for various reasons. Here are a few of the more common reasons insurance companies give for denying car accident victims the compensation they are entitled to:

You Share Liability For the Accident

Sharing fault for a car accident is more common than you might think. However, you don’t necessarily need to be responsible for causing the accident to be partially responsible. If you are partly at fault for causing your injuries, your case could also be affected.

Illinois operates under a modified comparative negligence system. If you are partially responsible for causing your injuries, you can still recover compensation for your damages if your portion of fault does not exceed 50%.

Insurance companies are likely to argue that you admitted fault for causing the accident, expressed guilt somehow, or are otherwise partially to blame for causing the accident itself or your resulting injuries.

The Insurance Policy Lapsed

In filing a claim with the insurance company, the policy in question will only be active if the policyholder has made timely payments. If the policy has lapsed, the insurance company is not obligated to cover your damages.

At this point, you may have the opportunity to file a claim with your own insurance company if you purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of your own auto insurance policy.

Failure to Notify

Did you know you need to notify the insurance company and file your claim within a specific amount of time? Your claim must be filed with the insurance company, usually within 30 days of the accident. The exact deadline can vary depending on the policy in question, so review the policy in detail to determine how long you must file your claim.

You also need to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. Under Illinois law, you have two years to file your claim. However, if your claim is not filed before the statute of limitations runs out or the insurance company is not notified before their deadline, you may lose your opportunity to file your claim and recover the compensation you may otherwise be entitled to.

Fraud or Misrepresentation

Insurance companies often argue that the information on the claim has been misrepresented or the claimant is attempting to defraud the insurance company. This is not a common occurrence, and your attorney will be prepared to stand up and advocate for your rights.

Excluded Drivers

Did you know insurance policies may only be active if the insured driver is operating the vehicle at the time of the accident? Suppose you were involved in a collision with a teen driver, and that driver was not covered under their parents’ auto insurance policy. In that case, the insurance company may have the authority to deny your claim.

Insufficient Coverage

The insurance company is only required to pay out up to the insurance policy’s limits. If your damages exceed this amount, the insurance company is not required to pay out beyond the policy limits.

For example, if the defendant only carried $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, but your medical expenses exceeded $50,000, the insurance company is only required to cover a maximum of $25,000.

Illegal Activity

Insurance companies may have the authority to deny insurance claims when the claimant or policyholder was breaking the law at the time of the accident. You may find your insurance claim denied, for example, if the liable driver was drunk at the time of the accident.

What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied in Illinois

If your insurance claim is denied, do not worry. Although it may feel as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders, you can usually appeal a denial.

We may need to provide the insurance company with additional supporting information to get your denial overturned. However, if this does not prove successful, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the insurance company to recover your damages in full.

If the insurance company is not required to cover your damages in their entirety for whatever reason, we may be prepared to pursue civil action against the culpable party.

Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago

Contact a dedicated Chicago car accident lawyer if you receive a denial from the insurance company and do not know where to turn. An experienced attorney can evaluate the denial, discuss your options, and advise you about your next steps. In Chicago, reach out to Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

 

 

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