After a car accident in Georgia, you will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. You’ll submit evidence of your injuries and property damage to receive compensation.
But what happens if insurance denies your claim? Keep reading for more from a skilled Atlanta car accident lawyer.
Can an insurance company deny a claim?
If you have been legitimately hurt and the other party is at fault, you should be eligible to receive compensation. However, insurance companies will spend much time delaying and pushing back, looking for reasons to deny the claim. An experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta can help you find any problems.
Some common reasons why insurance companies deny a claim include:
- The policy is invalid, or the policyholder did not pay the premiums.
- There is reason for them to believe you caused the accident.
- The claim was not submitted in time (usually within 30 days).
- You didn’t include the necessary paperwork with your claim.
- The insurer believes you aren’t as hurt as you say.
- You’ve filed many insurance claims in the past.
- Your settlement demands are higher than they are willing to pay.
Insurance companies will delay and fight every step to reduce what they have to pay. They also want you to close the claim quickly. They know that once your claim is settled, you can’t come back and ask for more if you have additional expenses.
What to do when insurance denies a claim?
You can file a complaint with the Georgia Insurance Commission. Your denial letter from the insurer must tell you why your claim was denied. If they fail to provide a reasonable basis, you may have grounds for a complaint and potential lawsuit.
Appeals can get complicated very quickly. Relying on an experienced and tenacious attorney to negotiate on your behalf can reduce your risk of making a mistake. Insurance companies are not going to let you know if you could get more compensation. Their job is to pay as little as possible whenever they can.
Your lawyer can put their background and knowledge of insurance practices to work so the provider does not take advantage of you. They will help you complete the complaint form correctly and represent you in any conversations or written communication.
Why do insurance companies deny claims?
In Georgia, the Unfair Claims and Practices Settlement Practices Act requires insurance companies to respond to your claim within 15 days by acknowledging your demand and sending you the necessary forms. They must notify you in writing if they need more time. In most cases, they may push back, but they operate faithfully within the law.
When they do not, you can fight back with the help of your attorney. Some examples of bad-faith insurance company practices include:
- Failing to supply the forms you need and instructions within the timeline
- Failing to promptly investigate and settle your claim
- Failing to resolve a claim quickly and fairly when liability is clear
- Denying payment without conducting an investigation
- Delaying their response or ignoring your requests for approval of your claim
- Failing to confirm or deny their coverage when asked
- Providing incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information about the policy coverage and requirements
- Failing to provide a reasonable basis in writing for denying your claim
- Offering significantly less than your claim is worth
When the insurance company does not meet your demands, even after patient negotiation efforts from your attorney, it is time to move to trial. You can take them to court to secure that compensation if you simply need a settlement. If they are engaging in bad faith practices, you can include this in your case.
Learn more about insurance claims today
At Rafi Law Firm, we are ready to help you when your claim has been denied in Georgia. Call (855) 541-4867 or online to schedule your free consultation and speak with a skilled car accident attorney today.