Car crashes and collisions can result in major injuries and property damages, and one of the most important first steps in the aftermath of even a minor accident should be filing a claim with your automobile insurer. Unfortunately, while insurance company settlements are often invaluable in terms of helping drivers and their passengers recover from car accidents and injuries, it is not uncommon for insurers to dispute or even to deny claims. What can you do if your car accident insurance claim is denied? As a consumer, being aware of both your rights and obligations when it comes to filing an insurance company claim can help ensure you get the compensation you need to recover.
Filing A Car Insurance Accident Claim
In the aftermath of an accident, it is important to be aware of your responsibilities when it comes to reporting and providing information. In addition to getting immediate medical care for any injuries you suffer, the Oregon Insurance Division’s Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance advises drivers to take the following steps to ensure their rights to insurance compensation are protected:
- Exchange driver’s license, insurance and vehicle registration information with all other drivers involved.
- Get contact information for any witnesses at the scene.
- File an Oregon Accident and Insurance Report with the DMV within 72 hours for any accident involving injuries or property damages over $1,500.
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
Once you have notified your insurer, you will be contacted by a claims adjuster. Do not downplay the extent of your injuries or property damages, and use caution when making statements or providing details about the accident or your driving abilities that could be used against you, such as stating you were tired, have trouble seeing at night, or are taking certain medications.
What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied
There are a number of reasons an insurance company may attempt to deny your claim. They may dispute the circumstances of the accident, your version of events, the extent or severity of your injuries or damages, or claim that you failed to comply with accident reporting requirements or guidelines for medical treatment. It could be simply a clerical or administrative error on the part of your adjuster. Regardless of the reason, you can take the following steps to dispute your denied claim:
- Inform your adjuster that you dispute the denial and ask for a report outlining the reasons your claim was denied.
- Request to file an appeal of the decision with the insurance company.
- File a complaint through the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation against your insurer.
- Contact an attorney to pursue compensation through your insurance company or by filing a personal lawsuit.
Are You Facing an Insurance Claim Denial?
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an automobile accident or have had a car insurance claim denied, contact our experienced Portland car accident attorney today. At the Johnston Law Firm, we provide aggressive legal representation to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve. We can investigate and gather evidence in support of your claim, while protecting your rights in negotiations with your insurer. Before making any statements or signing any agreements, call or contact us online today for a free consultation.