What to do When an at Fault Driver’s Insurance Won’t Pay
Getting into a car accident can be an incredibly stressful experience for those involved. This is particularly true when you end up dealing with aggressive insurance carriers who do not want to pay out a claim. If you have been in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, you should be able to count on their insurance carrier to pay your injury and property damage expenses. If the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver refuses to pay a claim, there are various steps you can take in order to recover the compensation you deserve.
Why Would an Insurance Carrier Deny a Claim?
There are typically two common reasons why an insurance carrier would refuse to release the payment for a claim:
- Fault disputes. The insurance carrier will conduct an investigation into the incident and work to determine which party was at fault. If it insurance carrier believes that their policyholder was not at fault for the incident, they may refuse to pay a claim.
- Compensation disputes. The at-fault driver’s insurance carrier may also refuse to pay a claim if they believe that the other party is seeking more compensation than they are due. In some cases, the insurance carrier may release a portion of the compensation (any amount that is not in dispute) while keeping the rest that a person believes they are owed.
Hire an Attorney
As soon as you realize that the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier is going to be difficult to work with, you should speak to an accident attorney about your case as soon as possible. Find an attorney who has extensive experience handling car accident cases and that has the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into the incident. An attorney will be able to determine fault for the incident and properly calculate the total expenses for their client.
The attorney will obtain all video or photo surveillance related to the incident, speak to eyewitnesses, analyze accident reports, and more. A personal injury attorney will also work with trusted medical experts in order to properly calculate the total costs their client will incur.
Sending a Letter to the Insurance Carrier
When an attorney gets involved, the first thing they will want to do is send a demand letter to the insurance carrier. The attorney will explain to the insurance carrier why their refusal to accept the claim or their compensation offer is not acceptable. A demand letter will include all the evidence to support the claim along with an itemized list of all expenses the client has incurred or will incur.
The demand letter will hopefully open up negotiations between your attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the demand letter does not yield the results needed, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier. In general, most cases do not go to trial. Rather, they are settled during the pre-trial phases, including during the discovery process in which both parties continue investigating the incident and exchange information with one another.
However, if both parties are not able to come to an agreement, it may be necessary to take the case to trial. This can be a complicated process, and an attorney will be responsible for preparing you for the court case. Ultimately, let your attorney guide you towards the path that will allow maximum compensation for your losses.