If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury or property damage in a vehicle accident caused by the actions of another driver, you deserve compensation for your losses. The vast majority of vehicle accident claims in California will be resolved through insurance settlements, but that does not mean the process is always straightforward. It is not uncommon for the insurance carriers to delay or even deny a claim altogether. Here, we want to discuss some of the main reasons that car crash claims are denied.
One of the main reasons that individuals do not receive an acceptance of their insurance claim, or at least receive an insufficient settlement offer, is that they do not seek medical treatment after an accident occurs. It is absolutely critical for any car accident victim to go to the doctor for an evaluation. Even though some injuries may not appear right away, there are times when pain begins to occur hours or days after the crash. This period between when the crash occurs and seeking medical care can give insurance carriers a reason to deny the claim, and they could say that you sustained an injury somewhere else after the crash occurred.
Insurance carriers regularly try to dig up any pre-existing injuries an individual has sustained. The reality is that most individuals have sustained injuries at some point in their lifetime. This can include workplace injuries, previous vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents in their home, and more. This is why insurance carriers like to obtain your entire medical history. This gives them the ability to dig through and look for other causes that could explain your current pain and suffering. The existence of pre-existing injuries should not keep you from recovering compensation for your losses.
Insurance carriers have fairly quick reporting deadlines. You really need to report the accident to your insurance carrier within a day or two after the incident occurred. Your insurance carrier can take it from there and notify the other driver’s insurance carrier. Please meet filing deadlines. Additionally, if you have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, California has a two-year personal injury statute of limitations in place.
If there is any dispute over who caused the incident, this could certainly lead to an insurance carrier denying the claim. The driver’s insurance carrier is not going to simply pay the claim if they think you are at fault. However, they may try to shift the blame your way to try and limit how much money they pay and compensation, even if they know their driver shares fault. The good news is that California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system which means individuals can recover compensation if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident. The total amount of money they receive in a claim will be reduced depending on their percentage of fault.
There are times when insurance carriers act in bad faith, which means they fail to uphold their end of the insurance contract. This could include denying legitimate claims, making threatening statements, advising you not to seek assistance from a lawyer, making unreasonably low settlement offers, and more.