You took the right steps to make a car accident claim. After carefully gathering evidence and making reports, you waited for the insurance company’s decision. Then – surprise – your claim was denied.
Hearing that your car accident claim has been denied can be devastating. You need to know how to fight back. Our car accident lawyers explain what you can do next if your car accident claim is denied.
What to do next if my car insurance claim is denied?
If your car insurance claim is denied, you may pursue an internal appeal, write a demand letter or file a legal claim. You may also file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance. You can take all these steps, but be sure to file your legal claim by the deadline.
1. Internal Appeal
Most insurance companies have a procedure for internal appeals. You can usually find information on how to appeal on the insurance company’s website. When you file an appeal, don’t just submit the appeal paperwork. To give yourself the best chance to make the appeal successful, review the reasons given for the denial. Then, gather the information that you need to show or explain why the initial decision was wrong.
It may seem pointless to submit an internal appeal to the same company that denied your compensation in the first place. However, when you pursue an appeal, a fresh set of eyes looks at the claim in more detail.
2. Demand Letter
A demand letter is a formal letter that you send to the insurance company. It details what compensation you deserve and why. When you write your demand letter, you should be sure to address the basis for legal liability and how you arrived at the amount you are seeking in compensation. A car accident lawyer can help you write an effective demand letter.
3. Legal Claim After Insurance Denial
You have the right to file a legal claim for car accident compensation. A claim may include compensation for personal injury and property damage. Comparative fault rules apply.
Filing a legal claim gives you the opportunity to use formal channels to gather evidence and address issues in court. You have the right to a trial. However, you may also pursue alternative dispute resolution services to explore non-trial resolutions. Most cases don’t result in trial.
4. File a Complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance
The Missouri Department of Insurance Division of Consumer Affairs accepts consumer complaints. It is a tool for accountability to the insurance companies and to improve insurance systems in Missouri. Filing a complaint is one thing you can do after the insurance company denies your car accident claim.
However, do not depend on filing a complaint to get the financial compensation that you deserve. The Department of Insurance reviews Missouri insurance laws and policy requirements. They also have regulatory authority. However, they cannot establish fault, the value of a claim or the amount of money that you deserve in compensation.
How much time do you have to file a car accident lawsuit in Missouri?
Missouri law § 516.120 creates a five-year time limit for filing a car accident lawsuit in Missouri. Whatever other avenues you pursue, do not lose sight of the five-year deadline. Regardless of what other steps you take, your right to bring a lawsuit is lost after the deadline expires.
You must formally file your summons and complaint to start your case and prevent the other side from raising the time limit as a defense. Plus, it’s always a good idea to begin your case quickly, while evidence and memories are still fresh.
Lawyers when your car accident claim is denied
There are things that you can do to continue to pursue your case. We’re experienced litigators, and we don’t mind difficult cases. We are proud to be your voice when you need to know what to do next after a car accident insurance claim is denied. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.