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how to file a claim for an accident with USPS

Have you recently been in a car accident and assumed your insurance company would automatically cover your medical expenses and pay your car repair bills, only to receive a denial? You likely feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and unsure what to do next. This article discusses what to do when your car insurance denies your claim and provides six steps to guide you.

6 Steps to Take If Your Car Accident Insurance Claim Is Denied

Receiving a denial from the insurance company can be downright devastating. You may quickly begin to worry about how you will cover certain costs and make ends meet while recovering from your injury.

Here are six steps to take following a denial.

Review the Denial Letter

The insurance company must send you a denial letter stating the reason for the denial and provide a relatively detailed explanation. Understanding why the insurance company denied your claim is the first step to determining what to do next. There are many reasons for an insurance claim denial. Some are straightforward, while others are much more complex.

Common reasons for car accident claim denials can include:

  • No insurance coverage,
  • No collision coverage,
  • A lapse in coverage,
  • Untimely filing of the claim,
  • Your injuries are related to a pre-existing condition,
  • Errors on the claim documents,
  • Failure to report the accident,
  • The accident was avoidable,
  • You failed to provide documentation of the damage or injuries,
  • The insurance carrier alleges you were at fault and caused the accident,
  • Medical records do not support the injuries claimed (e.g., improper medical coding), and
  • The claimed amount exceeds the maximum amount of coverage.

It is possible that the insurance carrier denied your claim in error, or it is possible to remedy the deficiency. Handling insurance claims and speaking with insurance adjusters is never easy, and it can become increasingly difficult if the claim has been denied. Insurance companies can quickly become defensive and uncooperative. Our seasoned car accident attorneys can assist you with reviewing your denial and advise you on the best way to proceed.

Review Your Policy and Coverage

Now is a good time to thoroughly review your insurance policy documents for detailed information, including what is covered and excluded, specific procedures, deadlines, and more. A review can help you determine if the carrier made an error. 

Collect Evidence and Gather Documents

If you think the insurance company wrongfully denied your claim, you need proof to support your position. You should gather evidence to show that the denial was in error.  

Depending on the reason for the denial may influence what evidence will be helpful. However, common types of evidence can include:

  • Accident report,
  • Police report,
  • Copies of cashed checks,
  • Photos and video from the accident scene of vehicle damage or injuries,
  • Medical records,
  • Any traffic violations issued to other drivers involved,
  • Eyewitness statements, and
  • Surveillance or traffic camera video.

If the claim was denied in simple error, it’s possible that just providing relevant policy documents will be enough for the insurance company to revoke the denial.

Contact the Indiana Department of Insurance

The Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) provides information, resources, and guidance to help you resolve your claim dispute. 

You can visit their website for tips and guidance or contact them by phone if you have questions. You can file a complaint if you believe your insurance company may have violated the law. 

The easiest way to submit a complaint is to use the online portal:

  • Upon submission, the IDOI will process your complaint within approximately 72 hours;
  • You will receive a confirmation letter acknowledging the IDOI received your complaint;
  • A copy of your complaint and a letter for the IDOI will be mailed to your insurance carrier, which the company has 20 business days to respond in writing; and
  • Once the insurance company responds, the IDOI will send you a copy of IDOI’s response.

The IDOI may overturn the carrier’s decision. Either way, your complaint will remain on file, which can be beneficial if you pursue legal action later.

File an Appeal 

If your claim is denied, there is a process to submit a formal appeal. The denial letter should include information regarding your right to file an appeal and how to do so. Usually, an appeal must be submitted in writing explaining why you believe the denial is improper. You will want to include as much information and evidence as possible to support your position. Generally, the appeal process is similar among insurance companies. However, carriers may have nuances or specific requirements and procedures for submitting an appeal, so check your policy and claim documents beforehand.

Consult a Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

While no legal requirement exists to retain a lawyer, we highly recommend it. Dealing with insurance companies and possibly the IDOI can be time-consuming, overwhelming, and complex. Our attorneys can assist you with filing a complaint, appeal, or civil lawsuit.Our experienced team will help you navigate the process, advocate, negotiate, and pursue legal remedies on your behalf. Sometimes, a lawsuit is not necessary, and a fair settlement can be reached after appeal, but other times, your injuries and financial devastation might be so severe that you have no other choice but to turn to the courts. We are here in any capacity to see your claim through to a successful resolution.

Contact Gerling Law for a Free Consultation

Whether you were recently in an accident and have not yet filed your claim and are worried, What if my car accident claim was denied? Or you have already received a denial, we strongly encourage you to consult with one of our Indiana car accident lawyers today. Best of the Best Attorneys named Gerling Law to the Top 10 Personal Injury Law Firms for 2024. Let us assist you with seeking the compensation you rightfully deserve. Schedule a free consultation through our website or by giving us a call.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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