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This is another in our series on car accident claims. So many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help.
Most insurance companies only make money when they can take payments on customer policies and don't have to make payments on customer claims. And the less scrupulous insurance companies will find any reason not to pay claims. So it's not all that surprising if your car accident insurance claim was denied.
What may be surprising to some, however, is that the denial doesn't mean you're out of options. Here's what you can do if your car insurance company has denied your accident claim.
Additional Insurance Claims
If you're involved in a multi-car accident and your insurance company denies your claim, you could file a claim with the other driver's insurance company. The law requires every driver to have automobile insurance, and most policies cover damage to another person, their property, or vehicle.
If another driver was at fault in your accident, you may be able to recover from his or her insurance company. Make sure to always exchange insurance information after an accident, and you can use police reports and your own evidence to prove who was responsible for the accident.
Additional Legal Claims
Insurance companies aren't your only source of compensation for vehicle damage or injuries -- you can also file a lawsuit. And you have options when it comes to suing for your injuries.
If the accident wasn't serious, you could file a suit in small claims court. Generally, small claims courts only hear cases involving damages of $5,000 or less, although that cap can vary by state. And some small claims courts may request the parties attend mediation rather than litigate the issue.
For more severe car accidents, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. You may be able to recover more in damages in civil court, and you may be able to sue more parties as well. If another driver was negligent and caused the accident, you can sue the driver, and possibly their insurance company. Additionally, you could sue your car insurance company as well, if you believe they denied your claim in bad faith.
Car accident lawsuits can be complicated, so you'll want someone with knowledge and experience on your side. If you've been injured in a car accident and your insurance company denied your claim, contact a personal injury attorney in your area to discuss your case.