Nobody ever prepares you that when you get in a car accident, be ready for one of the most stressful experiences in your life. Not only are you finding the best place to take your car to be repaired, but you might also have injuries, let alone all the many inconveniences that come when you’re without your vehicle. The last thing you’d ever expect is the other driver and insurance company denying liability. As if things couldn’t get any worse, it feels like it just did.
What do you do when this situation happens? Is there anything you can do?
You’ve reported the accident to the insurance company of the driver who hit you and provided them more than what they would need to satisfy the claim. You did everything right following the accident: took photos, possibly filed a police report, and gathered detailed notes of the accident. But to the insurance company, you’re just a person in line and not someone whose life has been flipped upside down. That’s when you decide to call the other insurance company and find out the status of the claim. As soon as you do, you discover the other driver denied responsibility and your claim was denied by their insurance.
Why Your Claim Was Denied
Even if it’s evident that the other driver was at fault, there are a few reasons why your claim was denied. Insurance companies will typically deny a claim by saying police officers were at the scene of the accident didn’t actually point a finger and say who was at fault. For all you know, the other driver made it seem like it was your fault.
Other reasons you might hear are:
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. In the state of New York, you have 3 years to file an accident claim and only 5 days to report an accident. This is why it’s critical 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. 5 days goes by fast, so make sure you stay proactive during this time.
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
You’re probably thinking of hiring an attorney, and you’re completely justified for feeling that way. But before you do, there’s one other thing you can try first: ask the other driver’s insurance company for immediate proof.
Not sure how to get that proof? Here’s how: Since you were the driver who was hit, you deserve to know why they (other driver’s insurance company) feel you’re not owed anything. This is why you should demand it sooner than later. Insurance companies are required to provide you with the documentation of the incident you need. Once that is in your possession, you can do whatever you want to argue your stance.
Next, you will probably want to call your own insurance company. Ask them what they think you should do. Your insurance company will pay for your repairs, and you’ll pay your deductible (per usual) on the repairs, so you can at least begin the process of getting your car repaired. Make sure you go to a collision repair shop that you prefer and trust, and not somewhere that your insurance company is saying will be the “fastest repair for your car.” Faster does not mean better when it comes to car repair, especially with how complex cars are manufactured nowadays. Plain and simple: take your car to an auto body shop that will repair your vehicle precisely as the manufacturer instructs, commonly known as OEM repairs.
Another thing to keep in mind is while your insurance company is fighting on your behalf to get reimbursement on the repairs, they’ll probably also tell you to file a complaint with the other insurer. There’s no promise on what this will do, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
Contact An Attorney
If none of that works, now might be the time to contact an attorney. It’s not always necessary, but an attorney can assist you with several things regarding the accident. Plus, if you were injured, hiring an attorney would be a wise step to take so that you can collect the damages that will cover your medical bills and repair costs.
Regardless of whether or not you have injuries from the 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 assists in paying for your medical bills if you’re injured in an accident, regardless of who was at fault. Here in New York, we are one of the 18 states that are part of the “no-fault insurance” system. Keep in mind, laws can change, so it’s best to check with your policy to verify exactly what you’re entitled to. Even if you weren’t recently involved in an accident, it’s always good to check and have the knowledge should you ever need repair after an accident.
Where In New York Can I Get My Car Repaired?
Here at Mid Island Collision Center, we know how insurance companies are so quick to deny your claim to protect their insured drivers when it’s obvious you were not at fault. Thankfully with New York being a no-fault insurance state, we are entitled to certain privileges only our state and 17 others have following a car accident.
However, that’s not to say car repair is an easy process. That’s why we are here to show you how car repair in New York should be done. At Mid Island Collision Center, we only give the highest level of auto body repair.
Our technicians are all highly trained in OEM repairs because they know the importance of these repairs. We feel quite confident we’d be able to provide you with the excellence in customer service and high quality that you deserve. If you’d like to schedule an estimate or to get a free online quote, click here to get started. Or, feel free to give us a call at anytime at (516)-766-0101.
We look forward to hearing from you!