Insurance Company Not Responding to Car Accident Claim

Insurance companies might not respond to claims in certain cases. They might delay making payments or efficiently resolving the matter. Sometimes they have legitimate reasons, sometimes not.

 

It is crucial to fully understand how claims are handled in your area. Although many states have an at-fault system that requires that the insurance company that provided insurance to the person responsible for an accident pay for damages, it is not always true.

States with No-Fault Insurance

Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and the District of Columbia use a no-fault insurance scheme. With this type of coverage, your own insurance company pays for all or a portion of your medical bills and lost wages if you are involved in a car accident, regardless of who is found to be at fault of the accident.

The law is applied in different ways by these states. Some states have caps on how much insurance companies will pay. These states generally prohibit people from filing a claim to pain and suffering unless they have suffered serious injuries or medical damages.

You should contact your insurance company if you reside in these states regarding medical expenses or lost wages. Property damage claims are the responsibility of the insurance company that covers the primary at-fault party. In no-fault states the law generally requires that you cooperate with your insurance company. This includes providing a recorded statement and being examined by a doctor to determine the extent of your injuries.

At-Fault Claims

In the other 38 states, at-fault principles of negligence apply. If the other party caused your accident, you should have made a claim with that company. The claims adjuster investigates the claim and should offer you a settlement if it determines that its driver was at fault for the accident. Usually, you can collect damages from the insurance company if you are no more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, depending on state law. However, the insurance company may reduce the amount of your damages by the proportionate share that you are responsible for the accident.

Insurance companies must handle both property damage and bodily injury claims separately. They cannot deny you a settlement for your bodily injury claim if you haven’t reached an agreement regarding the property damage claim.

Response Times

There are specific requirements in each state regarding how long it takes for insurance companies to respond to a claim. These rules might be different if you file a claim under your own insurance than if you file one under the policy of another party. There may also be requirements that mandate the insurance company provide you with a written explanation for any delays.

Rentals

State law also determines how rental vehicles are handled. Some states require the at-fault driver’s insurance company to reimburse the other driver for the rental vehicle costs. Your own insurance policy may or may not provide for rental vehicles, based on your policy.

Bad Faith

You may file a bad faith lawsuit against your insurance company if your insurance company fails to respond to your claim promptly or otherwise violates the laws of your state. Statues in your jurisdiction’s laws may outline the legal framework for such claims. This includes acts by the insurance company that show that it is acting in bad faith. You may be eligible for additional compensation if the insurance company is found guilty of bad faith.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand the laws in your state and recommend legal action if necessary. In order to expedite the claims process, he or she might be able communicate with the insurance company.