Many people think that hiring an auto insurance lawyer can wait till you already have an accident. However, that is not the case. The age-old adage ‘forewarned is forearmed’ is as true today as it was when it was coined for the first time.
Post-accident trauma can be so severe that legal issues may be the least of your worries. Sometimes, people trust insurance companies to pay their claims since they have been receiving their premiums for ages.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and you are left typing ‘motor vehicle accident attorneys near me’ in the search bar of your favorite search engine to find one as soon as possible. This is why it is very important for you to know and understand your options beforehand.
Let us suppose that your auto accident claim has been denied by your insurance service provider or you have reached a stalemate with regard to your car accident settlement negotiations. Here, an auto accident lawyer may be able to help move things alone in the right direction. They can help you break the impasse and make sure that the insurance company has a reason to listen to you and keep working with you. Alternately, they might advise you to file a lawsuit in order to get you the car accident damages that you feel you deserve.
Always remember that your auto insurance policy is basically a contract between the insurer and the insured party.
If your insurance service provider fails or in any way refuses to pay all due claims that should be paid under the terms and conditions of the policy, this will count as a breach of the contract. This means that the insured party will have the right to pursue all available legal remedies for this breach. This also includes the right to file a lawsuit against the company. It is important to note that this lawsuit can also include other damages such as the expenses and costs of the suit.
Your Auto Insurance Lawyer Can Help You Handle Coverage Denials
If your auto accident claim has been denied for whatever reason, you should ask the insurance adjuster handling your claim to put the denial in writing. They should quote the specific policy due to which this denial has come about. Study the language pertaining to the denial with reference to your specific claim.
In case you disagree with the reasons and the basis for the denial, you should consult your car accident lawyer since they would have the expertise to specialize in working on denied claim cases.
If your auto insurance lawyer checks the language of the denial and determines that you have a real reason to dispute the denial, they will be in a much better position to advise you with regard to your next step in the claims process.
Apart from that, they can also guide you through the procedure of using the insurance company’s own internal appeals and/or dispute process. If that does not work, you might consider legal action after consultation with your legal adviser.
Providing Assistance with Dispute Resolution
There are many different dispute resolution options available to you when it comes to getting your claim approved. Your car insurance lawyer can also help you with many of them in the following manner:
The auto insurance attorney can conduct negotiations on your behalf with the insurance service provider and try to get them to reopen your case in any event where coverage has been unfairly denied. They might be able to put a certain amount of pressure on the insurance company which, in turn, should lead to a more effective renegotiation. This way, you can look forward to a much fairer and more transparent settlement with respect to the damages you claim.
Many insurance policies also contain a provision that allows arbitration of any disputes that might occur between the insurance company as well as the insured party. Here, the arbitration is more of a procedure for the resolution of the dispute either by or through the use of neutral individuals who will be the arbitrators for said dispute. This is considered an easier and more convenient alternative to a formal lawsuit. It is also a relatively inexpensive and considerably faster method of resolving any contract disputes when compared to a formal court proceeding. As a general rule, the procedure is seldom available unless specifically mentioned or stated in the policy document itself.
- Small Claims Court
This option can only be availed if the claimed amount is below the maximum amount as specified by the state. Usually, the maximum amount is $2,500 in the small claims court. However, you should be very careful about taking the matter to this court because all such settlements are deemed to be final. It will be a very good idea to consult with your lawyer prior to approaching this court.
If you feel that none of the above options are working for you and you are being denied your claim, you can ask your car accident attorney to file a formal lawsuit against your insurance company. This might be your last recourse to acquire the full value of your original claim.
The lawsuit should, however, only be used as the last resort, and you should not attempt to go to court without the advice of your legal representative.
If you have exhausted all other avenues and decide to contest the decision of the insurance company in a court of law, you will have to do so within a certain period of time. Every state has its own statutes regarding the time allowed for filing such a case so you might consider acting without delay. Ask your auto insurance lawyer to do the needful as soon as possible.
Good luck with your claim!
- Each claim is different and must be evaluated on its individual facts. It is important to understand that prior results do not guarantee that similar results can be achieved in any future case or cases.
- There are different limits as per the laws of different states and they can vary between $2500 to $25,000