The initial car accident is bad enough, leaving you in pain and possibly without transportation, so having your claim denied is like being victimized all over again. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident and your insurance company refuses to pay up – or offers you a lowball settlement- it is important to seek out legal help to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve
There are a variety of ways that an insurance company could fall short when it comes to paying an auto accident claim including:
- Denying your entire claim
- Denying a portion of your claim
- Delayed processing or payment of your claim
- Failure to address your injury or claim at all; your case stays in a constant state of limbo
- Offering a settlement that is far less than your policy stipulates or that you are entitled to
- Offering a settlement that fails to address all aspects of your injury or claim
- Drawing out or abusing the process of arbitration
- Refusing to cover you in the future or creating cost prohibitive premiums to prevent you from getting insurance after an accident
Insurance companies are not in the business of being charitable or nice; at best, the claims adjuster you meet with will be looking for ways to reduce the amount of money paid to you. At worse, the company will willfully disregard the circumstances of your accident, draw out the claims process while you suffer and wait, possibly without income or even deny your claim entirely.
A denial is almost better than a non-answer; the longer you wait for a response, the worse off you’ll be financially. If you are missing work because of your injuries or you are spending money on your medical bills, the waiting game is particularly draining. Contacting an attorney can help you if you are experiencing unreasonable delays, even if you have not been declined outright.
Make sure you document everything that happens as a result of your accident as well as you document the accident itself. Keep records of every conversation, email and correspondence you have with anyone about the accident or your injury. It is important to have your injuries documented by a medical professional as well. Since some injuries don’t appear until after the accident, it is essential that you seek out medical attention right away. Not only can this prevent health issues, it helps to document your claim. Even if your claims adjuster seems to be nice or helpful, you must document everything that happens to help preserve your rights and your potential case.
Proceed with Caution
If you are not represented by an attorney, you could be offered significantly less for your pain and suffering. Claims adjusters know that you may not be up to date on all of the legal aspects of your case or know what to expect from the process; some may take advantage of this fact. Never sign anything relinquishing your rights or accepting a settlement until you’ve examined it thoroughly and sought out professional legal advice.
Hire an Attorney to Protect your Rights
You may not even realize that your rights are being violated or that you are being offered a settlement that is too low for the amount of damage you’ve experienced. If an insurer outright denies your claim, you will need to seek out a skilled personal injury attorney to represent you and ensure that you get the settlement you deserve. Even if you have been offered a settlement, seeking out the advice of a professional attorney familiar with Hawaii personal injury laws and settlement guidelines is a must if you want to be sure you are treated fairly.
If you’ve been injured in a Hawaii car accident and are concerned about your interactions with your insurance company or worried about your settlement, we can help. The car accident injury team at Davis Levin Livingston can help protect your rights and make sure that you get the compensation you are entitled to for your pain, suffering and injuries. Contact us today for a consultation and to learn more about your rights after you’ve been injured in a car accident.