How Insurance Companies Can Litigate a Car Accident Claim


Insurers are not always your best friends.


When you have a car accident for which you are not at fault, you should do the first obvious thing: file an insurance claim. The insurance company may not be the cause of the accident, but it will be the one who will pay for the potential damages.

You may think that filing an insurance claim immediately may be the easiest route. After all, the other party can pay less than you actually deserve, right? Bad. Insurance companies are non-profit, so it is not beneficial for them to provide the full amount.

They will try to fight him as much as possible. If there is an escape for them, they will find it. Overall, here’s how an insurance company can litigate your claims.

  1. The accident was completely preventable or avoidable

Insurance companies may try to argue that you don’t deserve the full amount (or anything at all) because the accident was preventable.

For example, you may have allowed a friend with a temporarily suspended license to drive your car home after a night out. Knowing that they have driving knowledge and wanting to avoid driving under the influence, you accepted their offer to let them drive.

As long as the vehicle was yours, the insurance company would cling to the fact that you let someone without a license drive the car. If you were the one driving it, maybe the accident could have been avoided.

  1. Both drivers were at fault

Insurance companies will only pay out a claim when they believe a specific driver is responsible for the accident. If your car was hit and your insurance company believes you are not at fault, they will seek claims from the other driver’s insurer. This can also apply to the other driver, trying to hold you accountable.

Two car accidents; image courtesy of State Farm, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0, no changes made.

All of these accusations can lead to a lot of back and forth over the cause of the accident. By getting a good lawyer, you should be able to bring this to your advantage. That being said, if you let the insurance companies fight, you could find yourself in a tough spot.

  1. You filed too late

Most insurance companies advise you to file a claim quickly in the event of a car accident. Some ask for 30 days, others 60 – and some don’t even give a number. They only say it should be done “quickly”.

If you let too much time pass and your car gets muddy, the insurance company may deny that the damage was caused later. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to track down witnesses. Insurance companies will hang on to it so they can deny your claim.

  1. You delayed your medical care

After an accident, you may underestimate the extent of your injuries. You would think everything is fine, that you don’t need any treatment. That may be true, but it may also be the adrenaline that hides your wounds. Or maybe the wounds won’t show up until later.

In places like Brentwood, Tennessee, it is necessary to get checked as soon as possible for injuries. If you don’t, it might look suspicious to the insurer, and they might use it to deny your claim. If you have been injured you may want to consult Brentwood Personal Injury Lawyers as they will know how to resolve the issue.

  1. Your claim exceeds the coverage amount

Your claim may be denied for the simple fact that it exceeds the other driver’s coverage. Let’s say your $100,000 car was completely destroyed in an accident, but the other driver’s insurance only covers $50,000. Unless they have additional coverage elsewhere, that puts you in a bind.

In the best case, they will pay up to the policy limit, leaving the driver to take care of the rest. In the worst case, your request may be denied because it does not match their parameters. It mainly depends on the insurance company you are dealing with.

  1. You have received payment from the other driver

After a car accident, the ideal scenario is to have the car seen and repaired, after which you make a claim. You must use your funds to make a payment and then present those receipts to the other driver’s insurer.

To avoid an insurance case, some guilty drivers may attempt to cover the expenses themselves. Receiving this money may void the insurance claim. The insurance company may argue that you have already settled your payment.

The essential

Insurers are not always your best friends. With all the evidence of fault in front of them, they will try to keep the money as much as possible. This is why you need to hire an experienced lawyer to guide you in this matter.

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