Few things can be as challenging as fighting with an insurance company after a serious accident. Whether you were involved in a motor vehicle accident or an accident on another person’s property, you are probably hoping to obtain compensation after filing a claim with the insurance company.
Unfortunately, insurance companies care more about making a profit than ensuring that they pay out fair amounts for claims. Under Alabama law, insurance companies must engage in good faith insurance practices. When they engage in bad faith insurance practices when settling your claim, you may have a right to sue for coverage.
1. Understand Why The Insurance Company Denied Your Claim
If an insurance company has denied your claim, the best thing you can do is try to understand why they denied your claim. You can request a police or fire report, a copy of the insurance policy, and copies of all communications received from the insurance company. You can also request copies of all of the estimates for damages. After an insurance company has denied your claim, it is essential that you keep a copy of the letter from the insurance company that discusses your insurance claim denial. Insurance companies must tell you why they have denied your claim. The reason for denial can be vital for going forward.
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2. Organize the Evidence in Your Case
If you decide to bring a lawsuit against the insurance company, you will need to submit evidence in support of your claim. It is wise to begin gathering evidence immediately after your accident, or even at the accident scene when possible. At the accident scene, you can take photos of the vehicles and of your injuries. It is wise to keep all of the summaries of your medical visits as well.
If your home burned down in a fire, it is essential that you keep a record of all of the costs associated with the repair of your home. The same is true if you need to have your motor vehicle repaired after a car accident. Keep all receipts involving necessary repairs in case the insurance company disputes the total cost of the repairs.
3. Speak to an Experienced Lawyer
Insurance companies have time, money, and a team of lawyers to defend their actions. As an individual person, it is important that you speak to your own lawyer as soon as possible. Many insurance companies hope that claimants will simply accept their low initial offer, or accept the denial of their claim without fighting it. An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether or not you have a potentially successful claim against an insurance company.
At Heninger Garrison Davis, we will review your claim and advise you as to the best steps to take to protect your interests and rights. If you hire an attorney at the beginning of the claims process, we can help you negotiate with the insurance company from the very beginning. It is wise to speak to a lawyer before you speak to the insurance company.
4. Consider Filing an Alabama Bad Faith Insurance Claim
In some cases, insurance companies will deny a person coverage because of legitimate disputes over the facts of the case or the law. Or, the insurance company might have made a reasonable mistake. When this happens, you, as the claimant, have a right to file a lawsuit against the insurance company for breach of the insurance contract. In other words, you will argue that the insurance company breached your contract with them when it denied your claim.
In other cases, insurance companies engage in bad faith insurance denials. Bad faith denials happen when the insurance company makes a frivolous or unfounded refusal to pay the claimant according to the insurance policy terms. In other cases, insurance companies negligently handle your claim, failing to spend enough time properly reviewing the claim. Many insurance company adjusters rely on the fact that most people will not attempt to read their insurance policy to see if they have made an incorrect decision.
In other cases, insurance companies stall, or delay, the resolution of a claim for an unreasonable amount of time, making it difficult for the victim of an accident to move forward with life and pay his or her bills.
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5. Contact Us Today
If you suspect that an insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim, or engage in bath faith practices, you need an experienced lawyer. Contact the Alabama law firm of Heninger Garrison Davis today to schedule your initial consultation.