Can I Sue My Insurance Company for Denying My Car Accident Claim in Pennsylvania?
We often have insurance to help us financially in times of crisis. Often, insurance is not even optional but is required by law. When insurance companies wrongfully deny claims, they should be held legally accountable.
If your insurance company denies your claim, speak to an attorney immediately. If you were not at fault for the accident, and your policy covers injuries, the denial might be wrongful, and you can sue the insurance company. A claim of wrongful denial might be based on various grounds. For example, you might believe the insurance company denied your claim because of an internal error, bad faith dealings, or an overall failure to address your claim at all. You need as much evidence as possible when going up against an insurance company. More specifically, you need records of all correspondence between you and the insurance company, including the policy. You should also have evidence from your car accident to prove that your policy should have covered your injuries.
Schedule a review of your case at no cost to you by calling our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940.
What Happens if My Insurance Company Denies My Car Accident Claim in Pennsylvania?
While denied claims are not unusual, they should be treated as highly suspect, and you should always push back. Insurance companies often deny claims for legitimate reasons. For example, perhaps your policy does not cover your accident because you were deemed at fault, or maybe your specific injuries are not covered. However, if you are not at fault and the terms of your policy should cover your injuries, something is very wrong.
If your insurance company denied your claims even though your policy covers your claim, the denial might be wrongful. While a lawsuit might be in order, and our Pennsylvania car accident lawyers can help you prepare a lawsuit right away, other avenues might be worth exploring first.
Before we sue, we can try working with the insurance company to resolve the issue. In some cases, the denial resulted from a mistake or error. Once we bring the error to the insurance company’s attention, it may quickly remedy the situation. If they do not, we should proceed with a lawsuit.
Reasons to Sue Your Insurance Company for Denying Your Car Accident Claim in Pennsylvania
You and your attorney should review your claim and the reasons provided by the insurance company to determine if your claim was wrongfully denied. Below are some common reasons for wrongfully denied claims.
As mentioned briefly, denied claims sometimes result from mistakes or errors. Sometimes, the error is an internal issue on the part of the insurance company. For example, clerical errors or mistakes made by insurance adjusters might lead to your claim being denied by mistake. In other cases, the person filing the claim made the mistake. If you forgot important paperwork or evidence when filing your claim, you might have accidentally hindered your own claims.
A problem might arise once the mistake is brought to the insurance company’s attention. In many cases, insurance companies are more than willing to help claimants fix any mistakes made on their claims. However, if the insurance company realizes the mistake but refuses to fix it, the denial may become wrongful. In that case, you should sue the insurance company.
One of the most reprehensible reasons behind many wrongfully denied insurance claims is bad faith dealings by the insurance company. While bad faith might take many forms, it generally consists of actions the insurance company takes to avoid fulfilling its obligations to customers. These obligations are spelled out in the terms of your insurance policy.
In many cases of bad faith, insurance companies know your claim should be covered but still deny it, often with little to no explanation. For example, the insurance company might change the policy terms without telling you, so you believe your accident is covered under the old terms when those terms no longer apply. This is not only unfair but illegal.
It is important that you hire a West Chester, PA personal injury attorney to help you with bad faith dealings by insurance companies. Often, insurance companies go to great lengths to cover their tracks, and proving bad faith tends to be difficult.
Failure to Act
Insurance companies usually have to respond to your claims with an approval or denial in a certain period of time. How long this time frame is might depend on the terms of your policy, but many insurance companies respond to claims within a few weeks.
If the insurance company never responds, or they have not made a decision on your claim for an unreasonably long time, you can sue them. While a lack of action might be an internal error (e.g., your claims file was lost), it might also be an instance of bad faith. It is not unheard of for insurance companies to keep delaying their decision on a claim in the hopes of waiting out the customer.
We can compare the response time of your insurance company to the average response times of other insurance companies and industry standards and regulations.
Evidence You Need to Sue Your Insurance Company for Wrongfully Denying Your Car Accident Claim in Pennsylvania
The most valuable piece of evidence in our arsenal is your insurance policy. The policy is more than a list of terms describing when and how the insurance company should compensate you. It is a binding contract. If the insurance company wrongfully denies your claim, they may be in breach of contract, and you may sue them for damages.
Other important evidence includes all communications between you and the insurance company. Any letters or emails should be saved, and any conversations over the phone should be noted and followed up via email. These communications may help us pinpoint where things went wrong and why your claim was wrongfully denied.
Another very important piece of evidence is the letter from the insurance company explaining why your claim was denied. These letters are required to give customers detailed information about why their claim was denied and how they can follow up with the insurance company. If your denial letter lacks these important details, call a lawyer.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorneys About your Insurance Denial
Schedule an evaluation of your denied claim at no cost to you by calling our Delaware County personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940.