What are the Car Insurance Company’s Obligations When You File a Claim?

denied in block lettersWe buy insurance to help protect us when something unexpected happens. We are counting on the insurance company to hold up its end of the bargain and manage claims in good faith.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for acting in bad faith. If they do not break the law in their handling of a claim, they may stop just short of breaking the law.

It is important to know your rights when you file an insurance claim so you will know if the insurance company is taking advantage of you. If you are struggling with your insurance company after a crash, give TSR Injury Law a call to schedule a free legal consultation.

We have been assisting car crash victims in dealing with insurance companies for decades and have a proven track record of success.

Minnesota’s Good Faith Law

While insurance companies have the right to deny claims, they must have a reasonable basis for doing so. If the insurance company cannot prove it had a legitimate, credible reason for denying a claim filed by someone they insure, that person may pursue legal action against the insurance company. If you can prove this, you may be awarded damages.

It is important to note your insurance company has an obligation to you to act in good faith. However, the other driver’s insurance company has no such obligation to you.

Your car insurance company also has a variety of obligations in how it processes your claim. For example, the insurance company must acknowledge that it received your claim within 10 business days. The insurance company must also provide you with all necessary claim forms and instructions on how to process your claim.

Investigating Your Claim

Insurance companies are also legally obligated to complete an investigation of your claim within 30 business days. The only exception to this is if the investigation cannot reasonably be completed in that time. However, the insurance company must notify you of the reasons why the investigation cannot be finished within 30 days.

Contacting an Attorney

Minnesota law says it is also illegal for an insurance company to advise a claimant not to call an attorney or to say payment of benefits will be delayed if you retain an attorney.

Notifying You of Acceptance or Denial of a Claim

The insurance company is also required to notify you of its acceptance or denial of a claim within 60 days of receiving a properly executed proof of loss. The insurance company cannot deny your claim based on a specific provision, condition or exclusion unless that is stated in the denial letter sent to the claimant.

Making a Settlement Agreement

The insurance company cannot threaten to cancel or not renew your policy to try to coerce you into settling the claim.

They also cannot make a settlement offer for one part of the claim that is contingent on settling a different part of the claim.

There are many other things insurance companies cannot do when someone files a claim after a car accident, such as telling you that you are required to take your car to a certain body shop for repairs. You have the right to decide where to take your car for repairs.

Despite these regulations, insurance companies often mislead, deceive and unfairly deny claims. Their loyalty is to their bottom line, so they are looking for some way to deny or undervalue claims.

That is why it is so important to seek experienced legal help. Insurance companies know an experienced Bloomington car accident attorney knows the law and will aggressively seek full compensation for crash victims.

TSR Injury Law is Here to Help Crash Victims. Call Today

You do not need to handle your car crash claim alone. Not only can an attorney manage the process for you, but hiring an attorney often results in a more favorable outcome for victims.

Call TSR Injury Law today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. There are no upfront fees for our services. In fact, we are not paid unless our clients get paid. This means there is no financial risk toyou.

Our firm has recovered $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

Give us a call today for legal help. (612) TSR-TIME

Why are Car Crash Insurance Claims Often Denied?

desk with claim denied written on notepadYou may think you have a strong argument for why an insurance company should provide compensation after a car crash. However, insurance companies are known to deny claims that seem perfectly legitimate.

It is important to keep this in mind: as a for-profit business, insurance companies are looking out for their best interests, not yours. When they can find a valid reason to not pay out on a claim, or at the very least reduce the value, it protects their bottom line.

Below, review some of the most common denial decisions policyholders receive. If you are suspicious of the denial reasons the insurance company gave you, call TSR Injury Law to schedule a free consultation.

‘You Waited Too Long to Report the Crash’

You should always call the police immediately after a car crash, even if you think your injuries are not that serious. They could get worse over the next few days. When you call the police, an officer will be sent to the scene to investigate and complete a report that serves as an official record of the crash.

Without a police report, it may be difficult to recover compensation, and the insurance company may try to use this against you. They may claim you were not injured in the collision and are seeking compensation for an unrelated injury. “How bad could it have been?” is a common defense when the police are not called.

Not only is it a good idea to call the police, sometimes the state requires it by law. If the crash caused injuries or property damage of $1,000 or more, you must report it to the police within 10 days. Some auto insurance policies also require a police report. This is especially true for uninsured motorist claims.  Insurance companies assume fraud when their insured’s claim an uninsured motorist hit them. A police report is the best way to protect yourself from later accusations of fault and fraud.

‘You Did Not Get Medical Treatment Soon Enough’

The insurance company is looking for some way to attack your credibility. If you wait to seek treatment, they are likely to say your injury is unrelated to the crash. They are only financially responsible for injuries that happened during a collision or where a direct cause from the crash.

You may think your injuries are not that bad and should heal on their own over a few days or a week. However, you need qualified medical professionals to examine you to determine the type and severity of injuries you may have suffered. Car crash injuries are often much worse than victims realize.

There are multiple reasons to always see a doctor and get checked out. On the human side, if you wait to go to the doctor, your injuries could get worse. They could take longer to heal and affect you for a longer period than they might have if you had sought treatment sooner. Even if the doctor confirms your injuries are not very serious, you can receive the care you need and likely recover more quickly.

On the legal side, the longer you wait to document your related injuries, the harder it is to prove they were the direct result of a crash.

‘You Were Breaking Traffic Laws at the Time of the Crash’

Breaking a traffic law could mean you are at least partially to blame for a crash. However, you are still able to seek compensation from your no-fault coverage. You can be 100 percent at fault for a crash and still be entitled to all your medical and wage loss benefits.

Your own fault for the car crash may affect your ability to seek compensation for pain, suffering or property damage from another involved vehicle, but only if you are more than 50 percent at fault. In other words, you may be partially at fault, but still have a valid claim. Insurance companies often argue if you are at fault there is nothing they can do. This is not true.

Even if fault is an issue, sometimes traffic citations are unrelated to the crash. For example, drunk driving is likely connected to the crash, but driving without a license is not related to the cause of the crash and is irrelevant when determining fault and what an insurance company owes you.

‘You Missed a Premium Payment’

Make sure to pay your insurance premiums on time. You may need to double check that a payment went through online or that your insurer received a check in the mail. Insurance companies will check for missed policy payments as a reason to avoid paying compensation for a claim. While most insurers allow a grace period after your due date, it is risky to pay late. Some insurance companies may purposely delay depositing your payment, causing it to miss the final deadline and your policy to lapse.  Minnesota requires written notice from an insurance company to cancel a policy for non-payment.

However, even if a payment was late, and you actually lose coverage on your vehicle, they are many ways to still have a valid claim against another at fault driver. An attorney may still be able to help you recover compensation. Each case is different, so it is important to review your options with an experienced lawyer.

If you have questions about the denial of your claim, do not hesitate to give our firm a call. We have helped many crash victims and we are prepared to go to court if necessary.

TSR Injury Law is Here to Help. Call Today

Car crash victims often have many questions about what to do next. That is why contacting an experienced Bloomington auto accident lawyer can be an important step.

You may think recovering the compensation you need should be relatively easy. However, the recovery process is often more complicated than many drivers realize. Insurance companies know how to take advantage of crash victims.

For more than 20 years, TSR Injury Law has been recovering compensation for injured victims. We have obtained millions and we know how to protect the full value of a claim.

No Upfront Fees. Call today: (612) TSR-TIME.