Why Was Your Insurance Claim for a Truck Accident Denied?

May 22, 2021 Truck Accident Blog

Most of the fatalities that occur in collisions between trucks and smaller cars are passengers in the other vehicles. This makes sense because trucks outweigh the average motor vehicle by 20 to 30 times. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 4,119 people lost their lives in collisions with large trucks in the U.S. in 2019.

The Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith

Your accident claim may appear to be an open-and-shut case, but this isn’t always true. When a truck driver’s insurance company denies your claim, you would like to know why.

The answer may come down to the fact that the other driver’s insurance company was acting in bad faith. Basically, this means that the insurance company was acting in a dishonest manner. It could also be that the insurance company’s adjuster may have determined that your claim lacked merit. Another common occurrence is that the insurance company is waiting for you to give up and disappear.

If there was an eyewitness who disagrees with your version of events, the adjuster may choose to believe the witness. Also, if you didn’t have a police report, insurance adjusters can choose to believe the stories that the truck company’s drivers tell them.

There Were Exclusions for Acts of God in the Policy

Insurance policies may include exclusions for “acts of God.” An “act of God” is an event that is uncontrollable, and it is common for insurance companies to exclude acts of God from coverage in their insurance policies. This type of a clause is often referred to as a force majeure exception. When this is the case, the insurance companies limit their drivers’ liabilities for injuries, damages, and other losses. The insurance adjuster may have denied your claim because the collision occurred during a horrific storm and not because the other driver was negligent.

The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Coverage isn’t in Effect

To ensure that your insurance coverage remains in effect when you need it, you are required to pay the premiums on time. If this doesn’t occur, the policy will lapse and become ineffective. This may have been the case with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy or that of its employer, so the insurance company would be justified in denying the claim.

In the event that the driver doesn’t have valid insurance coverage, you would have to file a claim with your insurance company for your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This is the coverage that you would use if you are hit by an uninsured driver. It also covers you when the other driver has an effective insurance policy that doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all of your medical and other bills.

The Accident Wasn’t Reported in Time

In most cases, the insurance policy dictates when an accident must be reported in order to be considered for coverage. If you fail to report the accident before the deadline, the insurance adjuster may deny your claim.

If an insurance company sets a deadline for filing claims, the typical deadlines are 30 or 60 days after the accident occurred. However, in most cases, insurance companies require that you notify them as soon as you possibly can. In New York, you are required to inform an insurance company of a collision within 30 days of the accident unless there is a very good reason that you cannot do that. This is usually the case for no-fault states.

Car insurance companies set deadlines for filing car accident claims because they need to have sufficient time to investigate them. They are allowed to deny claims when a delay in reporting the incident means that they cannot properly investigate the claim and demonstrate that the other driver is the cause of the collision, so this is an acceptable reason for a denial.

You Didn’t Get Prompt Medical Treatment

Many times after collisions, people refuse to go to the hospital. This is a mistake for more reasons than one. The first is that the body releases endorphins that make it so that you do not feel pain during a collision, and the other reason is because not having your injuries documented by a medical facility makes it more difficult for your trucking accident attorney to prove that the accident is the cause of your injuries.

Your doctor’s records are the best way to demonstrate that you have been harmed and that you are receiving treatment for the injuries. The records will allow your trucking accident attorney to determine how much you deserve as compensation for your medical bills. Without this evidence, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may state that your injuries existed before the collision and may deny the claim.

The Insurance Company Claims That Your Injuries Existed Before the Collision

It isn’t always easy to show that the accident is the reason that your back or other injury became worse after the collision, so insurance companies use pre-existing conditions as reasons to deny your claims. Unless you live in a state where the “eggshell skull rule” can be employed, your insurance company has reason to deny the claim.

Some states have the eggshell skull rule, and it states that if a defendant has been determined to be negligent in causing a collision, that person can be held responsible for paying for the injured party’s medical bills. If you are not living in one of these states, the at-fault insurance company’s denial may stand.

You Didn’t Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Insurance adjusters work for the at-fault drivers’ insurance companies. Their job is to ensure that their companies do not have to pay you very much money, so they look for any reason that they can find to make sure that they don’t have to pay. In the event that they cannot simply deny the claim, they will work very hard to get you to agree to accept a low offer.

When you do not hire a trucking accident attorney, it makes insurance adjusters’ jobs much easier for them. Because they are much more knowledgeable about the law than you are, it isn’t difficult for them to take advantage of you. Many people learn that their claims have been denied, and they don’t pursue the cases any further. Insurance companies know that if they deny the claims, a lot of people will go away, but if you have legal representation, then you may have a chance to see a return.

After a Claim Denial

The denial of a claim doesn’t have to be the final word. You can hire a trucking accident attorney to help you fight the denial. When a lawyer files the claim, the insurance companies usually react in a different manner than they do when you are the filer. This time, your attorney will send what is known as a “demand letter” that is a more formal type of claim. If the insurance company has an appeals process, your attorney has experience negotiating a settlement for you. The last resort will be filing a lawsuit, but your attorney will be able to do this as well.

If you have been injured in a collision with a truck, contact us at the law firm of Rebenack, Aronow and Mascolo. We are located in New Brunswick and Somerville, New Jersey, and you can reach us at (732) 394-1549.

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