It’s common knowledge that insurance companies are more worried about their bottom line than about policyholders or claimants. Insurance providers do not stay in business by paying out every claim that comes their way. Instead, they take every possible measure to deny claims, including car accident claims.
An experienced personal injury attorney can sometimes help car accident victims appeal and overturn claims denials. If your Louisiana car accident claim has been denied, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Until you have the chance, here are the top ten reasons, in no particular order, why car accident claims are denied in Louisiana.
10. Coverage Does Not Apply
Depending on the circumstances of your car accident, your coverage might not apply, causing your carrier to deny the claim. If the other driver is at fault, it’s possible they do not have mandatory liability coverage. Insurance companies will also look for loopholes in their contracts to deny claims. Other times, the language of the contract has exclusions that you might not have been aware of when you accepted the contract. For example, if another person is driving your vehicle when an accident occurs, your insurance provider might deny coverage.
9. Lack of Evidence
Prevailing in a car accident claim with your insurance company or another driver’s insurance company requires ample evidence to prove damages. Witness statements, medical records, crash reports, and other documents support your claim. Insurance companies will not exhaustively investigate an accident to pay out a claim, so they sometimes deny claims for lack of evidence. An experienced car accident attorney helps clients find the proof they need, making it difficult for an insurance company to deny a claim based on a lack of evidence.
8. Failure to Report Your Car Accident to Law Enforcement
From a legal standpoint, you must report a car accident to the police in Louisiana if injury, death, or more than $500 worth of property damage occurs. If you fail to report the car accident, you should not be surprised if an insurance carrier denies your claim. Failure to report a car accident to law enforcement sends a signal to the insurance company that your accident was not that serious.
7. Our Policyholder Is Not at-Fault
If the insurance company investigation finds their policyholder is not at fault for a car accident, they will deny a claim. In fact, they will try to shift liability to another party. This could include shifting blame to you or another driver if you were involved in a multi-car accident. A car accident lawyer can help you investigate the cause of the accident, sometimes with the help of accident reconstruction experts.
6. Preexisting Injuries
If your insurance claim includes injuries, you can expect the carrier to do what they can to avoid liability for them. One common and questionable tactic insurance providers use is to deny claims based on preexisting injuries. Whether you had a previous injury should not factor into the pain you had to endure from a car accident. An attorney can help you prove that a car accident aggravated existing injuries that otherwise would not have given you issues.
5. Administrative Error
Claim denials that emerge from administrative error sometimes cross over into an insurance company acting in bad faith, which is illegal. A carrier might argue you missed a deadline, filled out a form wrong, filled out the wrong form, or use some other dubious excuse to deny your claim on an administrative basis. They hope that frustrated accident victims give up and drop the claim altogether. Do not let insurance companies frustrate you; hiring legal counsel will ensure they take you seriously.
4. You Contributed to the Cause of the Car Accident
If the insurance company has evidence that suggests you partially or wholly caused the accident that led to your injuries, a good chance exists that they will deny your claim. Sometimes this is a legitimate cause for denial. Many insurance policies include clauses that void your coverage if you engaged in certain types of behavior. For example, if you were drinking and driving or using the vehicle in the commission of a crime, the insurance company could have reason to deny your claim.
3. Failure to Seek Medical Treatment After the Accident
Medical documentation of your injuries is crucial evidence to support your insurance claim. If you did not see a doctor after the car accident, the insurance company might deny your claim on the basis that your injuries are not that serious. Sometimes accident victims do not realize their injuries for a few days after the accident when they start experiencing symptoms of hidden injuries. Even victims who go to the doctor a few days after a car accident risk an insurance company denying their claim.
2. You Have Overvalued Your Claim
Your insurance claim can not exceed the policy limit. Additionally, if insurance companies feel you have included unnecessary medical treatment or you have overvalued your injuries, they often deny the claim. This forces you to fight the insurance company with an attorney and potentially go to court to receive compensation for your injuries.
1. Statute of Limitations Has Run Out
Louisiana is among the states with the shortest statute of limitations for personal injury claims. You only have one year from the date of your car accident to bring a lawsuit against the driver who harmed you and their insurance company. Failure to file the suit within a year often means you have lost the right to seek dames. If you make an insurance claim against the at-fault driver after one year, the insurance carrier will likely deny the claim because you have no recourse. Exceptions do exist, so make sure to contact a lawyer in this situation.
If you have suffered injuries in a Louisiana car accident and the insurance company has denied your claim, an experienced auto accident attorney from Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest can review your case and provide you with your legal options. Contact us online or call 504-200-0000 for a free consultation.