Insurance companies do not always cover valid claims after an auto accident. If you suffer injuries from a collision in California, you can file a claim through your auto policy or the other driver’s policy depending on fault.
When you receive a settlement offer that does not cover your expenses or a complete denial of your injury claim, you may have legal recourse. Review the common reasons for denial and steps to take in this situation.
If the other driver was responsible for the crash but no longer has insurance, the insurance adjuster may claim that coverage lapsed prior to the accident. In this case, you can seek coverage through your own auto policy if you have coverage for underinsured or uninsured motorists. You can also sue the responsible driver for financial damages resulting from the accident.
You should provide evidence of fault, such as eyewitness statements, video or police testimony, when you submit an accident claim. California law prevents the insurance company from denying your claim if you successfully show that the other driver was at least 50% responsible for the accident.
Sometimes, an insurance company denies a claim in bad faith. If you file an auto accident claim and the insurance company withholds relevant evidence, gives false information about your claim, ignores your communications or fails to give a reason for claim denial, you may have a successful bad faith lawsuit.
You can also contact the California Department of Insurance to report insurer bad faith and other violations of the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations.