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When Can Car Crash Victims Challenge an Insurance Claim Denial in Illinois?

Posted on December 28, 2020 in

Illinois is a fault insurance state, which means that a driver who causes an accident must pay for the losses of the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians injured in the crash. If you are the victim of a negligent Illinois driver, you can pursue compensation for your injuries by filing an insurance claim. Although you may suffer injuries, an insurance company has the right to approve or deny your claim.

If you receive an insurance claim denial, hope is not lost. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the denial, you still have options to pursue recovery for your medical expenses, property damage, and more. Learn more here from expert Chicago car accident attorneys.

Why Do Insurance Companies Deny Accident Claims?

Insurance companies must provide justification as to why they choose to deny a claim. Identifying why the company denied your accident claim will help you determine what to do next. Insurance companies can deny claims for a number of reasons, including the following.

  • You missed the filing deadline.
  • The policyholder missed a payment and the policy lapsed.
  • The policy does not cover the damages you suffered.
  • Your damages exceed policy limits.
  • You failed to seek medical attention immediately after the crash.
  • You failed to report the crash to the police immediately after the accident.
  • You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.
  • You were driving with an expired license.
  • You lied or misrepresented information about the accident in your claim.
  • The insurance company acted in bad faith.

There are some denial reasons that you cannot challenge, such as driving under the influence or driving with an expired license. However, there are some justifications for denying your claim that will not hold up if you decide to challenge them. You have three options to dispute your claim: writing a letter to the insurance company, filing a bad faith insurance claim, or escalating your case to a personal injury lawsuit.

Appealing Your Decision to the Insurance Company

Your first line of defense after an insurance claim denial is to enter the company’s appeal process. Typically, you will need to write a letter to the insurance company with evidence that disputes their decision, including documents such as photographs, medical records, and police reports. You will need to be very specific about how each piece of evidence connects to the denial; you may want to consult with a car accident attorney to help you craft your appeal.

Filing a Bad Faith Claim

Insurance companies must act in good faith when issuing decisions in an accident claim. However, if you feel like the company is mistreating you, breaching its contracts, violating the Illinois insurance laws, or committing any bad faith actions, you can file a bad faith claim against the company. You will need the help of an Illinois car accident attorney to determine if you have grounds for this claim.

Personal Injury Lawsuits for Car Accidents in Illinois

If you cannot appeal the claim, you can choose to escalate to a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This option is especially appropriate in cases where your damages exceed policy limits, as you can collect more compensation through a lawsuit than an insurance claim. Speak to a Chicago personal injury attorney to determine if this option is right for you.

If you need assistance appealing an insurance claim denial, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney to represent your claim from the beginning can help you avoid the mistakes that often lead to insurance denials and advocate for your best interests during each stage of your claim.

As soon as you seek medical attention for your injuries, contact a lawyer  to discuss your case.