How to Respond When Your Car Was Hit but the Driver’s Insurance Won’t Pay

Imagine this — you’re stopped at a red light when another driver crashes into your vehicle. Their fault is apparent, but your claim gets denied when you file a claim with their insurance company.

This situation leaves many accident victims feeling confused about their options. But don’t worry. You have rights in this case, and several paths forward to cover your bills.

Today, we’ll examine the most common reasons an insurance company may initially refuse a valid injury or damage claim after an accident. We’ll also provide tips on challenging the decision with supporting evidence.

And if that still comes up short, we’ll offer guidance on navigating litigation. Read on or call our experienced Oregon personal injury attorney to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Why Would an Insurance Company Deny Your Accident Claim?

There are a few well-known reasons an auto insurance provider may try to avoid paying out on accident damages when their policyholder is clearly at fault:

The Investigation is Still Pending

After a collision, insurance companies gather police reports, medical records, automotive repair estimates, and other evidence to determine fault and verify damages. They may initially deny a claim until this investigation is complete.

But note – insures cannot take months to wrap up their reviews. Pushing past 30 days without reasonable justification may constitute “bad faith insurance practices” for unduly stalling a valid claim.

The Policyholder Contests Fault

Sometimes, an at-fault motorist will lie or stretch the truth to their insurance adjuster about what happened, seeking to avoid responsibility. This testimony forces the insurance company to initially give their client the benefit of the doubt and deny your injury or property damage claim outright.

Policy Limit is Exhausted

Every auto insurance policy has maximum payout limits. If a driver causes a massive chain-reaction pile-up, their coverage may max out after paying other victims’ medical and vehicle repair bills first. So, no funds are left to issue a settlement when the insurer reviews your valid claim.

How Can I Fight Back Against an Unfair Claim Denial?

If an insurance company refuses to pay your claim, here are some options to challenge the decision and build your case:

Gather Additional Evidence

Documentation is power when disputing a denied claim. Collect police reports evidencing the other motorist’s ticket traffic violations or fault, crash scene photos, medical evaluations linking treatments to the collision, automotive repair estimates or total loss valuations, and other bills tied to the incident.

Present this documentation to the claims adjuster to back up your demand for coverage. Gaps in proof or contradicting testimony give credence to insurance claim denials; comprehensive documentation makes it very difficult for insurance companies to continue stonewalling a legitimate payout.

Send an Official Demand Letter

Oregon has statutes requiring insurance providers to engage in fair claim settlement practices. If discussions reach an impasse with an adjuster, contact an experienced personal injury law firm about sending a formal demand letter.

This letter should outline the motor vehicle crash details, cite relevant state laws and the at-fault driver’s policy obligations, provide all documentation substantiating your damages, and command a settlement by a specific date.

Sometimes, doing this jolts an insurer to take action when informal talks make little progress.

File a Complaint with the State Department of Insurance

Register a grievance with the state’s insurance oversight agency when an insurance company continually denies a claim despite glaring evidence showing they owe you compensation.

For Oregon accident victims, that’s the Division of Financial Regulation. You can file a complaint online explaining how the insurer keeps shifting the rationale for the denial and refusing to issue fair payment, citing the dates and names that document the mishandling.

Regulators can penalize systemic unfair claim settlement practices with hefty fines and other consequences. Opening an official complaint incentivizes an insurer to review and resolve the situation.

Initiate Litigation Against the At-Fault Driver

Legal action should not be your first recourse after an accident claim denial. But if an insurance company continues acting in bad faith even under regulatory scrutiny, a personal injury lawsuit may become necessary.

By naming the policyholder and insurance provider in court documents and seeking a judgment declaring them jointly liable to cover your validated losses from the crash, you may finally compel the insurer to pay up to avoid a disastrous judgment against their interests.

An experienced Oregon personal injury lawyer can advise if litigation is viable and worth pursuing based on case specifics, help formulate legal strategies, and represent you in court – often through contingency fee arrangements requiring no money upfront.

Coping Without Insurance Payments in the Interim

Pursuing rightful compensation can, unfortunately, drag out for months after an accident. In the meantime, you may still need medical treatment, a rental car, or a means to pay hefty repair bills or replace your totaled vehicle.

Here are some tips for managing during claim disputes:

  • Draw from applicable MedPay funds from your auto policy to cover immediate medical costs.
  • Ask treatment providers to await payment from an eventual claim settlement.
  • Rent vehicles under your policy’s loss of use coverage if you have this extension.
  • Negotiate payment plans on automotive repair invoices.
  • Explore utilizing uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage when available.

A personal injury attorney experienced in car insurance disputes and vehicle damage claims can offer tailored guidance on navigating financial hurdles while you fight for a settlement.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Hess Injury Law in Oregon for a free consultation if an insurer refuses to pay after a car accident that was clearly another driver’s fault. We’re here to help accident victims recover complete and fair claim compensation.

Is it Time For You to Call a Car Accident Lawyer?

You always retain the right to hire legal counsel from the start of an accident claim process. In straightforward, minor collisions, most insurers will quickly accept fault and attempt reasonable settlements.

However, consider seeking an experienced car accident lawyer’s assistance if:

  • You suffered severe or lifelong injuries.
  • Medical bills, lost wages, and other accident costs stack up in the tens or hundreds of thousands.
  • The insurance company continues citing different suspect reasons for denying your claim.
  • Months pass without receiving a settlement offer.

Only serious personal injury and car crash lawyers possess the legal expertise and willingness to invest extensive resources and time into forcing the maximum available compensation out of resistant insurance companies.

Don’t leave money on the table or struggle through claim disputes alone – call us instead for dedicated legal support.

Don’t Delay – You Have Rights After Car Crashes in Oregon

Navigating inflexible insurance providers after an accident can prove highly frustrating. Get informed on your consumer rights and legal options for recourse. And know that you don’t need to tolerate claim stonewalling or unfair denials in Oregon.

Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Hess Injury Law deal with bad-faith insurance companies daily. We can investigate crash details, substantiate your damages, menace insurers legally, and take all appropriate actions to secure the compensation you deserve.

Don’t wait – Call our office to schedule a free, no-obligation case review and claim denial consultation today.

Author Bio

Peter J. Hess grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. He is a 1996 graduate of Walla Walla High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Washington, with a B.A. in Business Administration/Information Systems.

Peter graduated from Willamette University College of Law, with honors, in 2007. While at Willamette, he was an Associate Editor of the Willamette Law Review, he was a Teacher’s Assistant for a Legal Research and Writing professor, and he worked as a Personal Injury Law Clerk at Swanson, Lathen, Alexander & McCann in Salem, Oregon. After graduation from Willamette, Peter began working here at Hess Injury Law. In 2012, he became a partner in the firm. He is licensed to practice law in both Washington and Oregon.

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