When you’re involved in a car crash, you can be confused and unsure of what to do next. If someone else caused the collision, it’s easy to assume you’ll file a claim with their insurance company and get your car repaired. If you’re injured, you’ll allow the other insurance company to handle your medical bills, everything will be cared for, and you’ll move on with your life the way you were meant to from the start. It’s a simple process in your mind, but it’s anything but simple in reality.
There is no right or wrong way to file a claim, and there is no guarantee the other insurance company is going to cover the issues you’re having. In some instances, the other driver and their insurance company might do something shocking and deny they had anything to do with the collision.
When the other side makes noises about denying liability for your injuries, the entire situation shifts out of your favor. Say you’ve called to report the collision to the at-fault driver's insurance company and now you’re waiting on them to get back to you about your claim. They’ve had plenty of time to go over the paperwork and get the information they need, but they haven’t gotten back to you. When you call to find out where you stand in terms of your claim, they tell you that they’ve decided they are not liable for the claim and won’t be paying anything to you or your family.
The first thing you should do is ask for proof. Why do they believe they owe you nothing? You want proof of their stance, and you want it immediately. They are required to provide you with the proof you need to find out whether or not they are liable. What they have that’s telling them they owe you nothing for the crash is not something they can keep private. You want to see their documentation of the incident, and they have no choice but to provide that for you. Once you have this information, you’re free to argue the point where it’s necessary.
The most common argument insurance companies use when denying claims is that there is no police report or the officers who responded did not state it was the fault of their client. They’ll argue that nothing in the police report supports this information, and they’ll say they are paying nothing as a result. Your job now is to find proof that the collision was caused by someone else. This could be done by hiring an attorney to take your case.
Before you do that you might consider calling your own insurance company. Most insurance companies will pay the repairs and bills for you and then fight the other insurance company for reimbursement. You’ll need to pay your own deductible, but it’s usually more cost-effective to do this than it is to go through with paying for expensive repairs on your own. Call your insurance company and ask them what they suggest you do.
If that doesn’t work, your next step is to contact a lawyer. This might not always be necessary, but it is if you have been injured and the medical bills are already beginning to accrue. If the other insurance company is denying your claim, you might need to go further to collect damages that will cover the cost of your repairs and your medical bills as a result of your injuries. A lawyer can look at all the evidence, recreate the scene, and determine who is at fault. This might include taking the other insurance company and the driver of the other car to court to have a judge and jury make the final ruling. Since most insurance companies are unwilling to go that far, they usually offer a settlement.
If the other insurance company is denying the liability from the crash their insured caused, you become easily frustrated. It happens more than you imagine, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling upset by this. If this has happened to you, a friend, family member, neighbor, or co-worker, give us a call at 253.858.5434 to see how we can help.