A Colorado car accident can result in serious financial hardship, leading to expensive medical bills, lost wages, and extensive vehicle repairs. You have two options to secure compensation for your losses: you can file an insurance claim, or you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Most accident victims begin in the insurance claim process, but filing a claim is not a guarantee for compensation. There are numerous reasons an insurance company may deny a claim, including lack of evidence, bad faith practices, and pre-existing conditions.
#1: Failure to Seek Medical Care
After a car accident, it is very important to seek treatment for your injuries. If you do not go to the doctor, you will not have the necessary medical records to document that you actually suffered the injury you are claiming compensation for. Because it cannot assess the nature of your injuries without this documentation, the insurance company will likely deny your claim.
You should always go to a hospital or a doctor after your accident, even if you do not feel injured. You may have underlying injuries you are unaware of, and these visits will establish a necessary record of evidence for your claim.
#2: Unpaid Premiums
Colorado is a fault insurance state, which means drivers who cause accidents are responsible for paying for victims’ damages. If the at-fault driver in your claim fails to pay his or her premiums on time, however, the insurance company will not have an obligation to pay out a claim against his or her policy and will deny it. In these situations, you may be able to pursue compensation under underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) or through a personal injury lawsuit.
#3: Pre-Existing Conditions
Insurance companies will only pay for damages associated with the injuries you sustained in the accident. If you have a pre-existing condition prior to the accident, it can be difficult to determine which injuries are from the crash and which were present beforehand. The company may use this pre-existing condition as justification to deny your claim. However, if your car accident injuries worsened your pre-existing condition or vice versa, you could still be eligible for compensation.
#4: Bad Faith Practices
Insurance companies must provide a valid reason to deny your claim. However, there are some circumstances in which an insurance representative acts in bad faith, or denied your claim wrongfully or without a valid reason. If you believe an insurance company acted in bad faith, your attorney can request an internal review of your claim to secure a second opinion.
Protect Your Interests During the Insurance Process
When filing an insurance claim, it is important to remember that the insurance company is an entity with interests that may be separate from your own. There are many reasons why the company may deny your claim, many of which are preventable with the assistance of a Denver car accident attorney.
Hiring a car accident lawyer is an important step to protect your best interests during the claims process. Your attorney will understand the standard of proof necessary to establish your right to damages and will conduct an investigation to gather this documentation. He or she can also negotiate with the company during the claims process and initiate an appeal or lawsuit if necessary.
Contact a Colorado car accident attorney immediately after seeking medical attention for your injuries. Do not speak to an insurance representative until you discuss your case with your lawyer. Your attorney will explain your options, evaluate your case potential, and initiate the claims process on your behalf.