Filing insurance claims after you have sustained personal injury or property damage can be a complicated task. While insurance companies have a duty to act in good faith and fair dealings in all consumer matters, these businesses often put their best interest ahead of all else.
Insurance companies may look for ways to deny personal injury insurance claims rather than looking for ways to honor an insured’s claim.
Policy Holders' Rights
Policyholders have a number of rights to protect them from wrongful denial of insurance claims after a personal injury or related losses.
There are also a number of things that consumers can do beginning when the personal injury occurs to ensure that the rights and interests are protected when filing insurance claims.
It is important to keep in mind that each state has their own laws related to insurance claims, as does each insurance company.
Personal injury cases also vary widely, thus, there may be some specific aspects of your case that you may wish to discuss with a qualified attorney to insure that your rights and interests are protected.
Secure Safety Before Assessing Damage
After an incident occurs, such as a car accident, it is important to first assess whether any involved party is injured or requires medical attention.
After safety has been secured, it is pertinent to gather all relevant information about the incident, involved parties, and any witnesses to the event.
This information may include, but is not limited to, names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, vehicle information (if car accident), and all other relevant pertinent information.
Document All Information
If personal injuries were sustained, the injuries, medical records and expenses, loss of wages, and other damages will also have to be documented.
This information has to be provided by insureds with their insurance claims.
If property damages were sustained, the processing of insurance claims may also involve an assessment of these damages.
In some cases, an insurance adjuster may come out to look at the property while in other cases, photos or a detailed description of the damage (as provided by a repair shop or police report) may be sufficient evidence of property damage.
In many states, the insured may fix a vehicle at the repair shop of their choice but must first obtain authorization from their insurer.
Legal Rights Through the Insurance Claim Process
Those who have suffered damages in a personal injury incident have a number of legal rights and protections throughout the insurance claims process.
After determining the damages and the degree of fault belonging to the involved parties, the insurance company will accept or deny any or all parts of insurance claims.
In most states, insurance companies have a time limit in which to respond to, investigate, and accept or deny insurance claims.
Failure to obey these legal time limits may result in an actionable case against the insurance company on behalf of the insured.
If an insurance company wrongfully denies insurance claims in bad faith, the insured has the legal right to seek compensation from the company.
If you have questions about insurance claims, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney who can evaluate your case to determine that your rights and interests are protected.
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