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How Insurance Companies Can Argue a Car Accident Claim

— November 14, 2022

Insurance companies are not always your best friend.

When you get into a car accident that was not your fault, you will do the first obvious thing: file an insurance claim. The insurance company may not have caused the accident, but they will be the ones to pay for potential damages. 

You may think that filing an insurance claim straight away may be the easier route. After all, the other party may pay less than you actually deserve, right? Wrong. Insurance companies are non-profit, so it does not benefit them to provide the full amount.

They will try to fight it as much as possible. If there is a loophole for them, they will find it. Overall, here is how an insurance company may argue your claims.

  1. The Accident Was Completely Preventable or Avoidable

Insurance companies may try to argue that you do not deserve the full amount (or anything at all) because the accident was preventable. 

For instance, you may have allowed a friend with a temporarily suspended license to bring your car home after a night out. Knowing they have driver’s knowledge and wanting to avoid driving under the influence, you took on their offer to let them drive it.

While the vehicle was yours, the insurance company would latch onto the fact that you let an unlicensed person drive the car. Had you been the one driving it, maybe the accident could have been avoided.

  1. Both Drivers Were at Fault

Insurance companies will only pay a claim when they believe a specific driver is at fault for the accident. If your car was hit and your insurance company believes you were not at fault, they will seek claims from the other driver’s insurer. This can also apply to the other driver, trying to hold you responsible.

Two-car accident; image courtesy of State Farm, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0, no changes made.
Two-car accident; image courtesy of State Farm, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0, no changes made.

All this finger-pointing can lead to many back-and-forth disputes over who caused the accident. By getting a good lawyer, you should be able to bring this to your advantage. That being said, if you let the insurance companies battle it out, you might find yourself in a predicament.

  1. You Filed Too Late

Most insurance companies advise that you make prompt claims when it comes to car accidents. Some ask for 30 days, others for 60 – and some do not even give a number. They only say that it should be done “fast.”

If you allow too much time to pass and your car gets muddied, the insurance company may refute that the damage was caused later on. The more you wait, the more you will have a difficult time tracking witnesses. The insurance companies will cling to that so that they may deny your claim.

  1. You Delayed Your Medical Care

After an accident, you may underestimate the extent of your injuries. You’d think that you were completely fine, that you do not need any treatment. That may be so – but it may also be the adrenaline hiding your injuries. Or perhaps the injuries will only show later on. 

In places such as Brentwood, Tennessee, it is necessary to get yourself checked for injuries as fast as possible. If you don’t, it might look suspicious to the insurer, and they may use that to deny your claim. If you were injured, you may want to look into Brentwood personal injury lawyers, as they will know how to address the problem.

  1. Your Claim Exceeds the Coverage Amount

Your claim may be denied for the simple fact that it exceeds the other driver’s coverage. Let’s say that your $100,000 car was completely ruined in an accident, but the other driver’s insurance only covers $50,000. Unless they have some additional coverage somewhere else, it places you in a bind. 

In the best case scenario, they will pay up to the policy limit, leaving the driver to handle the rest. Worst case scenario, your claim may be denied, because it’s not within their parameters. It mainly depends on the insurance company you are dealing with.

  1. You Received Settlement from the Other Driver

After a car accident, the ideal scenario is to get the car seen and repaired, after which you make a claim. You need to use your funds to make a payment, and then present those receipts to the other driver’s insurer.

To avoid an insurance matter, some guilty drivers may attempt to cover the expenses themselves. Receiving that money may nullify the insurance claim. The insurance company can argue that you already settled on your payment.

The Bottom Line

Insurance companies are not always your best friend. With all the evidence of the fault in front of them, they will try as much as possible to hold onto the money. This is why you need to get an experienced attorney to guide you in this matter.

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