When you’re injured in a car accident, a skilled auto accident and insurance attorney can help you get the compensation you need for expensive medical bills if the insurance company denies your claim unfairly. Insurance is big business, and minimizing the amount paid in compensation helps companies stay profitable. If you’ve received a letter with an insurance claim denial, you’re entitled to legal counsel. Find out if you are entitled to compensation by issuing a bad faith insurance claim, or if the insurance company had a reason to deny your claim.
Factors for Insurance Claim Denial
Lapse in Montana Law Insurance Policy
Montana state law states that a tort system governs car accidents. This means that to receive compensation you must prove the other driver was at fault and seek compensation from the driver either directly or from the driver’s insurance provider. The liability insurance coverage you purchase protects you from claims from other drivers following an accident.
If the driver who caused your accident failed to pay insurance premiums and coverage lapses, an insurance claim denial may be issued to you because it did not insure the driver at the time of the accident. If this happens, you may need to rely on uninsured motorist coverage, if you purchased that option, or attempt to collect compensation directly from the other driver.
Wrong Insurance Coverage
What if there was no other driver involved in your accident? Hitting an animal in the roadway is an all too common occurrence in Montana, as is hitting a patch of ice and sliding into a ditch or tree. You may believe your insurance policy covers damage in these cases, but if you only have liability coverage and did not purchase collision insurance, your insurance provider may deny your claim.
Insurance Exclusions in Billings
It is likely you didn’t read all the fine print in your insurance policy. Insurance companies often exclude certain behaviors from coverage. As an example, if you use your vehicle for work, you may find that your policy excludes any accidents that occur while on a business-related drive. If you’re unsure, the best way to find out if your policy covers work-related use of your vehicle is to contact your insurance agent.
Timely Notification of an Accident
Your insurance policy specifies the amount of time you have to report an accident to your insurance company. Failure to notify the insurer within that time may result in a denial of claims related to the accident. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. This not only avoids having your claim denied for missing the deadline, but gets the ball rolling sooner for a decision from the insurance company.
Driving While Impaired
You have auto insurance to protect you in the case of an accident. The insurance company accepts the risk that accidents will happen; however, some accidents are so easily avoidable that the insurance company excludes coverage for them.
If you are in an accident while driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, the insurance company may deny the claim. Driving under the influence risks not only your life and the life of others you share the road with, but also risks the financial cost of paying for any damages caused in an accident.
You Were at Fault
If the insurance company determines that you were primarily at fault in the accident, it may deny your insurance claim. In this case, the other driver may well have a claim against your insurance instead.
The Insurance Company Makes a Mistake or Bad Faith Insurance
Insurance companies are made up of humans who make mistakes. Sometimes a company denies a claim because the insurance adjuster makes a mistake or misinterprets the facts. While all the above are legitimate reasons to deny a claim, that does not mean a company should deny your claim. In the United States, insurance companies are held to a duty to provide “good faith” and fair dealing to the people they insure. If an insurance company unfairly denies your claim on basis that were not clearly stated in your contract, this is an example of “bad faith insurance” and grounds for a breach of contract claim.
Contact an Attorney
An experienced bad faith insurance attorney can provide an unbiased look at the merits of your case to determine if the insurance company had reason to deny your claim or if it made an error in your case. If you’ve recently received a insurance claim denial letter for an accident and feel you’ve been a victim of unfair insurance claim denial, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in the your Billings, MT for a free evaluation of your case.