What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied After a Car Accident

Car accidents | June 15, 2020

If you or somebody you care about have been involved in a car accident, you should be able to count on receiving coverage from an auto insurance carrier for your expenses. Unfortunately, there are times car insurance carriers deny a claim. When this happens, you need to know what your next steps should be in order to receive the compensation you deserve. For more information about your car accident claim, speak to a car accident lawyer in Chicago today.

How do I fight an auto insurance claim denial in Illinois?

There are various reasons that an insurance carrier may deny a claim. This can include:

  • Claims made above the policy’s coverage limits
  • The driver in the accident was not on the policy
  • There was a lapse in insurance coverage

However, an insurance claim denial does not mean you have reached the end of the road when it comes to securing compensation. There are a few steps you can take if your claim is denied that could reverse the decision.

  1. Ask for a written explanation of the denial. If your claim is denied, the insurance carrier should provide a written explanation of why they made the decision. Make sure to ask the insurance carrier for a copy of the policy and ask them to point out the part of the policy they are using to deny your claim.
  2. Gather your evidence. Gather all evidence related to your insurance claim. This includes any evidence from the car accident scene, such as photos or video surveillance and the police report, as well as your medical records and proof of lost wages.
  3. Determine the appeals process. Every insurance carrier will have an appeals process that you can go through if you are not happy with the decision made. Make sure you understand the timelines associated with the appeals process.
  4. Write a letter. Write a concise letter to the insurance carrier that lets them know you are appealing the decision. Make sure your letter includes copies of all evidence for your case, including your totaled losses (medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, etc.).
  5. Speak to an attorney. If you have any questions about the insurance claims or denial process, there is no harm in seeking a free consultation from a car accident attorney in Illinois.

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in Illinois?

Every state is responsible for regulating auto insurance carriers within their jurisdiction. Under Illinois State law, insurance carriers have 15 working days to provide the insured with the necessary forms to file their claim (after the forms have been requested). After the insurance carrier receives the completed forms, they will then have 60 days to investigate the incident and provide the claimant with an explanation of approval or denial of their claim.

Please understand that this 15 and 60-day limit has nothing to do with the statute of limitations put in place under Illinois law concerning personal injury cases. If a car accident victim decides to file a personal injury lawsuit against an alleged negligent driver, they have two years to do so from the date the accident occurs, not from the date of an insurance claim denial.