Getting into a car accident is stressful as it is, but the aftermath when it comes to dealing with insurance or finding what body shop to take your car can make things worse.
Coordinating how to be without your vehicle while trying to find a body shop you trust all while starting the claims process is overwhelming. Now imagine, to top it all off, the other driver’s insurance company just called to say they are denying liability.
What do you do when this situation happens? Is there anything you can do?
You have done your due diligence and done all the necessary steps since the moment of the accident. You reported the collision right away to the insurance companies (your own and the other drivers) and provided more than enough to satisfy the claim. You called the police who arrived on the scene and completed a police report and you have a clear, consistent details of the accident.
It was obvious you were not at fault, so you expect things will go smoothly with the insurance claim until you discover the other driver denied responsibility and your claim was denied by their insurance.
Why Your Claim Was Denied
For many of us, hearing the denied claim will be shocking. There are a few possibilities as to why your claim was denied which you will want to look into. The most popular reason a claim is denied is usually blamed on the law enforcement that were present at the accident because they didn’t specifically identify who was at fault. As a result, it’s only a “guess” over who’s fault it was, no matter how unfair that may seem.
Here are a few other reasons you might hear your claim was denied:
- Lapsed Policy: If the other driver failed to pay their premiums, this would cause their policy to lapse. As a result, their insurance company might claim that the driver had no coverage at the time of the accident. If this happens, you’ll need to rely on something known as “uninsured motorist coverage.” For more information on what to do in this situation, click here.
- Time is up: Insurance policies will also deny responsibility if an accident wasn’t reported in the allotted time. If it wasn’t major damage and the other driver doesn’t care much about getting their car fixed, they’re willing to let the time slip by. Depending on where you are located, you have 2-6 years to file a claim after an accident. However, a car accident should be and needs to be immediately filed. This is why it’s vital you not only inform your insurance company as soon as possible but the other driver’s insurance company as well so they don’t take their time in filing a claim.
- Policy exclusions: Insurance companies might deny your claim if they believe specific policy exclusions were the cause of the accident and not the driver. Sudden weather, such as a freak hail storm, is a widespread “act” that the other policy might consider an exclusion. As a result, your policy would be denied.
What To Do Next
Don’t panic and jump immediately to thinking you need a lawyer. There are other options to try first. The first one you should try is to contact the other driver’s insurance company and ask (or demand) their documented proof.
They may try to avoid the answer or say that they can not, but insurance companies are required to provide you with the documentation of the incident. You should ask for it, and demand it, sooner than later so you have what you need to argue your stance.
Once you have done that, you should call your personal car insurance company and ask for their advice on what to do next. The good news is, your insurance company will pay for the repair to your car so you can at least begin the process of getting your car returned. You will still have to pay your deductible but at least you aren’t stuck in a holding pattern while you wait for the other driver’s insurance claim to resolve.
Among all this chaos, its easy to just go to the nearest collision repair shop. However, it is extremely important you select a trusted shop that isn’t know for fast repair, but quality repair. Quicker and cheaper does not always mean better and keep in mind your deductible doesn’t change even if the repair is more pricey.
In fact, most collision repair nowadays is more expensive due to the modern features and safety sensors. Most insurance company will provide recommendations on what shop to use, but just know it ultimately is your choice.
You should take your car to an auto body shop that will repair your vehicle precisely as the manufacturer instructs, commonly known as OEM repairs. (For tips on finding the best and most trusted local auto body repair shops, click here.)
Contact An Attorney
Luckily, your insurance company will fight on your behalf to get reimbursement on the repairs, but while they do that, they will also tell you to file a complaint with the other insurer.
If none of the above is moving the needle, the next step is to unfortunately contact an attorney. While this is not always necessary, an attorney can likely help you with multiple things surrounding the incident. Especially if you were injured in the accident, hiring an attorney would be a wise move so that you can collect the damages that will cover your medical bills and repair costs.
Even if you don’t have injuries from an accident, here’s what one website states an attorney can do for you in the event your claim is denied:
“An attorney can look at all the evidence from the accident, recreate the scene of the crime, and they can determine who is at fault.”
Since most insurance companies are not willing to go to the extent of a judge getting involved, a settlement will more than likely be offered.
No-Fault Insurance States
At this time, there are only 18 states that are considered “no-fault insurance” states. This type of insurance coverage “helps pay for your and your passengers’ medical bills if you’re injured in a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident” (Allstate).
It might sound confusing, but it will actually save you the massive headache if both you and the other party follow the laws for being a no-fault insurance state. They wouldn’t owe you anything, and you can return to normal life sooner than later. And who doesn’t want that?
Where In Statesville Can I Get My Car Repaired?
Here at Statesville Collision Center, we are familiar with drivers coming into our shop who are in the middle of dealing with these post accident issues. We know the inconveniences and difficulties you are facing when the other driver’s insurance company denies your claim, especially when the other driver was clearly in the wrong.
We are here to help any with questions you may have regarding your policy because that’s the type of service you deserve from an auto repair shop.
Feel free to give us a call at (704)-881-0410. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or get an online quote, we’re more than happy to help out! We offer these on our website to make the car repair process as stress-free as possible! Just click any of the buttons below to get started!
We look forward to hearing from you!