Insurance Not Covering My Car Accident
Experiencing a car crash can be stressful, especially if you don’t have adequate insurance coverage. However, the situation can become even more challenging if your insurance company denies your claim. If this happens, you should take control of the situation, negotiate with the insurance adjuster with the help of a car accident lawyer, and recover your losses.
So, if you’ve been into a car accident due to another driver’s negligence and your insurance coverage is falling short, and you need to file a car accident claim to cover the rest of the expenses, Uptown Injury Law Firm, PLLC car accident attorneys are here to provide you support. Call us at 917-540-8728 to set up a free appointment with our legal team.
Why Was Your Insurance Claim Denied?
Insurance claim denial can be puzzling and frustrating. There are several potential reasons for this situation, such as:
- Policy exclusions: Check if your car accident insurance falls under any excluded circumstances in your policy.
- Lack of coverage: The at-fault driver may be underinsured, uninsured, and lack sufficient insurance to cover your losses.
- Coverage limits: Your insurance policy limits may not cover all damages, which may lead to gaps in coverage.
- Disputed liability: There can be a delay or claim denial when there’s a dispute over fault.
- Late reporting: Timely reporting is essential, as delays can complicate the claim approval process.
- Insufficient documentation: Ensure you have all necessary evidence, like photos, witness statements, and medical records, to back up your claim.
- Pre-existing conditions: Some policies do not cover pre-existing conditions or damages.
In New York, insurance companies generally follow specific claim handling standards, which include conducting a proper investigation, not denying a claim without investigation, and promptly acknowledging communications.
However, despite these procedures, if your insurance company denies your claim after a car accident, you should carefully review your policy and the cause of the accident to understand why your claim was denied. Moreover, you should also request a written explanation from the claim representative. But in case you’ve lost the original denial letter, make sure to ask for a copy.
Remember that insurers base their denial on evidence and coverage information. However, providing information disputing their conclusions can prompt a reconsideration of the denial. So make sure to consult a car accident personal injury attorney who can review the denial letter, explain why your claim was rejected, and provide clear advice on what you should do next.
How Do Insurance Policy Limits Affect Settlements?
In an accident, you can review the insurance policy limits of the negligent driver to determine the maximum settlement their insurer can pay for the claim. If the damages exceed the policy limit, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company or take legal action to receive additional compensation. However, in some cases, even if the maximum amount is approved, it may not cover all the expenses you incurred from the accident. Therefore, always be aware of your policy limits before an accident to ensure adequate coverage.
How to Check if Someone’s Policy Limits Are Enough to Cover an Accident?
There are ways to find out if the other driver’s insurance policy limits are enough to cover the accident. The easiest way is to ask the at-fault driver directly. You can contact their insurance adjuster if the driver has been advised not to speak with you. However, the insurance company is not legally obligated to disclose policy limits in liability claims upon request.
If you file a lawsuit to receive total compensation, policy limits information will become available as part of the litigation process. Alternatively, you can request the insurance company to disclose policy limits before filing a lawsuit by sending them a demand letter. However, if you’re unsure of the best course of action for your case, it’s wise to seek the advice of a seasoned car accident lawyer.
How to Recover Car Accident Damages Exceeding the Policy Limits?
If you have been in a car accident and the damages you suffered exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits, you can file a lawsuit for an excess verdict. However, this process involves litigation and a trial, and even if you win, the insurer will only pay the amount it is contractually obligated to pay, which may not be enough to cover all your damages. In such cases, an excess verdict can come into play, which is the additional amount the at-fault driver will have to pay you out of their own pocket, above what their insurance company covers.
If the at-fault driver has significant assets, you can sue for personal property and try to bridge the gap between the amount awarded by the jury and what the insurance company paid. However, the at-fault driver may have legal rights to protect specific property by claiming exemptions. The exempt property includes the negligent party’s primary home and vehicle, meaning they cannot be used to pay the judgment against them.
If the at-fault driver has assets that are easier to sell, like trucks, cars, or boats, the local sheriff can execute the judgment and seize those assets to pay for your damages. However, if the negligent driver has other property, like a vacation home, the judgment is filed in every county where they own real property.
What to Do if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Dealing with a negligent driver who is uninsured or has low policy limits can be challenging. You can protect your interests and recover your damages by taking the following steps:
1. Gather Comprehensive Information
Begin by collecting all relevant information from the scene of the accident. Take photos of the injuries and vehicle damage, note witness statements, and obtain a copy of the police report. By doing so, you’ll have a solid foundation for your case.
2. Check Your Coverage
Communicate with your own insurance company to determine whether you have an underinsured or uninsured motorist policy. This coverage becomes crucial when the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits fall short of covering your damages.
3. Consult a Car Accident Attorney
When involved in a car accident, it’s crucial to seek the expertise of a car accident attorney. A proficient lawyer specialized in this field can significantly aid in navigating the complexities of insurance claims and legal proceedings. They possess the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively communicate and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Furthermore, they can provide valuable advice on the most effective strategies to pursue in order to recover damages.
4. Sue Other Parties Involved
Multiple drivers could sometimes share the blame for a car accident. For instance, if a commercial vehicle (such as Uber or Lyft) hits you, the employer might be responsible for the employee’s recklessness if it happened while they were on the job; you have the right to hold them accountable too.
Does Car Insurance Cover Single-Vehicle Accidents?
Yes, collision and comprehensive coverage can protect you from the financial burden of a single-car accident. Comprehensive coverage covers damages caused by theft, vandalism, or natural disasters, while collision coverage pays for damages to your car resulting from collisions with stationary objects or other vehicles. If you are not at fault for a single-car accident, you can use your uninsured motorist policy, which can help pay for damages to your vehicle.
However, some car insurance plans do not cover single-vehicle car accidents. For instance, if you are the only one involved in an accident, you won’t be eligible for liability coverage because there’s no other driver to compensate. This is because liability coverage only applies when you are at fault for causing an accident that damages someone else’s vehicle or other assets.
What Are Traditional vs. No-Fault State Laws For Insurance?
The traditional negligence-based system and the no-fault approach are two main frameworks in insurance laws. These can significantly impact your claims.
Traditional Negligence-Based System
In states following the traditional negligence framework, determining fault is crucial in seeking coverage. Typically, the insurance of the at-fault party covers damages. However, recovering damages can be difficult when the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
To tackle such situations, receiving underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) from your insurance company is the most feasible solution. To get this coverage, you can pay an extra fee and protect yourself from accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers. With UM coverage, you can first settle with the uninsured driver and then file a claim with your insurance provider for the remaining expenses. However, if you don’t have a UM policy, you can pursue a car accident lawsuit against the driver.
What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM Coverage)?
Uninsured motorist insurance is an optional coverage that can be added to your standard automobile liability insurance policy. This coverage reimburses you and other passengers for injuries sustained in a car crash caused by an uninsured driver. However, it’s important to note that UM coverage doesn’t cover property damage to your vehicle and only covers medical expenses, lost wages, and related accident costs.
The cost of UM coverage varies, but it generally amounts to around 5% of your annual auto insurance premium. It’s worth mentioning that UM coverage is mandatory in 20 states, including New York.
In no-fault states like New York, it is mandatory to have vehicle insurance before purchasing a vehicle. The minimum insurance coverage required varies depending on the state you are in. In case of an accident, regardless of who is at fault, you will have to cover accidents from your insurance policy.
This approach aims to streamline claims processing and reduce delays caused by the determination of fault. Furthermore, in some situations, the insurance policy of the at-fault driver can also be used to recover your damages.
Filing an Auto Accident Lawsuit Against Uninsured Driver
If you have an accident with an uninsured driver, you won’t get compensation from your insurance company unless you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. In that case, you can file a negligence claim against the other driver.
Depending on the circumstances, proving fault in a negligence claim can be easy or difficult. If you share the blame for the accident, you will receive a lower settlement amount. The amount you can recover depends on the state you live in. For example, in some states that follow Modified Comparative Negligence, you can recover the entire losses if your fault is below 50 percent.
In a pure comparative negligence state like New York, the court will determine the percentage of fault for each party involved in the accident. The injured party can still recover damages, but their percentage of fault will lower the amount awarded to you. For example, if you, as the injured party, are found to be 30% at fault, your recovery amount will be reduced by 30%.
On the other hand, in a pure contributory negligence state, if the injured party is even slightly responsible for the crash, they can not recover any damages. This means that if the court finds the injured party to be just 1% responsible, they will not be able to recover any damages from the other party involved in the accident.
Additionally, drivers who are uninsured or have insufficient coverage are usually uncollectable. Even if you win your claim, you cannot get compensation if the defendant has no valuable assets or money.
|Pure Comparative Negligence
|Modified Comparative Negligence (50% rule)
|Modified Comparative Negligence (51% rule)
|Pure Contributory Negligence
|District of Columbia
How to Settle an Accident Claim if You Are Uninsured?
You can negotiate directly with the other party if you don’t have insurance and want to settle an accident claim. Start by gathering evidence to support your case, such as photos of the damage and any witness statements. Then, calculate the cost of the damages and propose a fair settlement offer.
Next, prepare to negotiate with the other party and consider hiring a lawyer if needed. Once you’ve reached an agreement, let your attorney draft a written agreement and have both parties sign it to make it legally binding.
Should I Handle My Accident Expenses Without Insurance?
Whether or not to handle an accident without insurance depends on your circumstances. If you can afford the minor car accident repairs, you can pay it out of pocket. However, making an insurance claim may be the best option if the vehicle repairs and other damages are more than you can afford.
Why Choose Uptown Injury New York Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have faced a car insurance claim denial, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Uptown Injury Law, PLLC. We understand the challenges you’re facing, and we are here to offer legal guidance.
Our experienced car accident attorneys have secured over 100 million dollars in settlements for clients just like you and are committed to fighting for the justice you deserve. Our team will investigate your case, negotiate with the insurance companies, and maximize the compensation you deserve. Moreover, we work on a contingency basis, so you won’t have to pay us unless we win your claim.
Our track record speaks for itself. Take a look at the numerous five-star reviews left by our satisfied clients who trusted us with their cases. Don’t let the insurance companies push you around or intimidate you into accepting a low-ball settlement offer. Contact us online or call us today at 917-540-8728 to schedule a FREE case evaluation.
What Should You Do if You’re in a Minor Accident With Other Driver?
In case of a minor accident with another driver, prioritize your safety and seek medical attention. Exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver, document the scene and note your damages. The minor damages are covered by the at-fault driver’s or your own auto insurance.
Does Your Auto Policy Cover Property Damage After a Minor Crash?
Auto policies usually include coverage for property damage in a fender bender, but the extent of coverage may vary. Therefore, review your insurance policy to understand the details and consider additional coverage if needed.
How Will a Fender Bender Impact Your Insurance Rates?
A fender bender can often increase insurance rates if you’re responsible for the accident. It depends on various factors, including state law and your insurance policy. In New York, the insurance rates often remain the same if you are not responsible for the crash.
How Does Auto Insurance Work in Accidents Involving Multiple Drivers?
In accidents involving many drivers, the at-fault driver’s insurance may be responsible for covering damages. However, if the accident involves an uninsured driver, your own auto insurance may pay for the damages.
Will Your Insurance Company Cover Medical Bills After an Accident?
Yes, your insurance policy may include coverage for medical treatment. It can help pay for medical bills resulting from an accident, even if you are partially liable.
Do Insurance Premiums Increase After a Collision Coverage Claim?
Filing a collision coverage claim can often increase insurance premiums, especially if you were responsible for the car crash. It’s a good idea to weigh the potential premium increase against the cost of repairing your vehicle.
How to Recover Losses From an Insurer After a Car Accident?
You can file a car insurance claim to recover money from your insurer after being hit in an accident. Your insurer will assess the damages, determine fault, and process the claim based on your policy terms.
What Should You Do if the Other Driver Isn’t Willing to Pay for Damages?
Most states mandate the responsible driver’s insurance company to pay for the damages caused in a vehicle accident. If your insurance is denied, you can file a motor accident claim against the at-fault driver and recover the accident-related damages.