What Can I Do if My Insurance Company Denied My Claim?
Every year, we pay our insurance companies thousands of dollars in insurance premiums. We understandably expect that our insurance companies will, in turn, take care of us in our time of greatest need. It is devastating when our insurance companies refuse to pay us the fair value of our insurance claims, or outright deny our claims.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured and your insurance company has denied your claim, you should contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your options. An attorney will evaluate the basis for the insurance carrier’s denial of your claim and determine how we can overcome it. If the insurance carrier’s excuse is meritless, we will sue them and take your case to trial unless they agree to offer you the compensation that you deserve.
Three Steps to Take if Your Insurance Claim is Denied
If your insurance company has denied your claim, you should take the following steps:
1. Hire an Attorney
If your insurance carrier has denied your claim, you are likely very upset. You might be inclined to call the insurance adjuster and give him a piece of your mind. That is a bad idea. Even if you don’t act out in anger, perhaps you think that you should produce loads of information and documents to the insurance adjuster out of hope that he will change his mind. That is also a bad idea.
Once the adjuster makes his denial decision, he will usually not change it until you file a lawsuit and prove that he is wrong. Although you might think that the information and documents you’re producing to the insurance adjuster will help your claim, you might be wrong. If you are wrong, the insurance adjuster will use any statements or documents that you give him against you.
Hire an attorney and let your attorney determine the best way to respond to the claim denial. Your attorney can request that the insurance company explain the basis for its denial. If the denial is based upon a provision in your insurance contract, your attorney can evaluate your policy and determine whether the insurance adjuster has correctly interpreted that policy provision.
More likely than not, you will need to sue your insurance company in order to get the relief you deserve.
2. File a Claim With the Georgia Insurance Commissioner
If the Georgia Insurance Commissioner determines that the insurance company has violated an insurance law, they will request corrective action by the insurance company. The Georgia Insurance Commissioner may also request corrective action If the insurance company is not abiding by its insurance policy.
3. Sue Your Insurance Company for Bad Faith
Georgia Code § 33-7-11(j) provides that if your auto insurance company acted in bad faith by refusing to pay your settlement demand, you can sue your auto insurance company to recover the following relief:
- The insurance policy limits.
- 25% of policy limits as an additional penalty.
- Reasonable attorneys’ fees.
So, if you made a demand for $100,000 policy limits and your auto insurance company acted in bad faith by refusing to pay your demand, you could potentially sue your insurer for bad faith and recover the $100,000 policy limits, a $25,000 penalty fee, plus your attorneys’ fees.
An Attorney Can Help
Attorneys that advertise on buses, billboards, TV, and radio do not have the time or willingness to fight for you if your insurance company denies your claim. Their goal is to settle your claim as quickly as possible, even if that means settling your claim for well below its true value. In all likelihood, those attorneys will drop your case if your insurance company denies your claim.
You need some of the best personal injury lawyers to help with your claim denial. They need to have the time, dedication, and resources to fight for you if your insurance company denies your claim. In the past few years, our lawyers have successfully resolved many bad faith insurance claims. We understand that the insurance companies won’t admit culpability and pay you the fair value of your claim until you demonstrate that you are in a position to get a big verdict against them. If you’re patient and willing to endure a lawsuit against your insurer, you will be in a much better position to maximize your recovery.
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