When an insurance claim has been denied, you can appeal the decision. The process begins with receiving a denial letter from the insurance company. In this letter, the steps for filing an appeal should be within the letter, with the name of the claims adjuster or point of contact.
First, notify the insurer of your intent to appeal the denial. You can generally accomplish this independently, but a Florida car insurance claim lawyer can help while you focus on your physical recovery.
Truck-Versus-Car Accidents Are Different
There are huge differences when an accident involves a big rig or commercial truck rather than standard passenger vehicles. When a crash involves a truck, everything can multiply due to the size differential.
When loaded, a truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The difference is tremendous, with passenger vehicles ranging from 2,500 to 9,000 pounds. This difference means that most truck-car crashes will produce more severe injuries, such as:
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
From a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report, semi-trucks were responsible for 4,444 fatalities in 2020. Fatalities increased in 2021 to 4,714, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that may also allow you to pursue a third-party liability claim. A lawyer can help determine the best course of action in your particular situation.
Exploring Additional Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
Determining liability, or responsibility, for a tractor-trailer accident is also more complicated than a typical passenger vehicle accident. Although a truck driver might be at least partially responsible for the wreck, other factors might show that some of the following entities also bear liability:
- The trucking company or truck owner
- Maintenance personnel
- Maintenance contractors
- Cargo-loading personnel or contractors
- Parts and equipment manufacturers
- Inspectors tasked with safety
FMCSA publishes additional rules and regulations for trucks and their drivers within the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). These regulations limit driving time, specify logbook standards, require mandatory rest periods, and other safety-related rules.
Our lawyers can explore each of these potentially liable parties and determine their percentage of fault. That way, you can pursue fair compensation.
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Reading and Understanding Your Denial Letter—What It Means
When you receive a letter denying a claim, there are certain things your letter should include in plain language:
- The reason for the denial
- What you can do next
- Steps for appealing the denial of your claim
- Contact information for the adjustor or representative for your claim
- Claim or reference number to include in your appeal
Make sure you understand everything in the denial letter. Verify the reason for denial with the claims adjuster while you work to resolve the appeal. Do not offer extra information—stick to direct questions and offer only short, concise answers.
Some Reasons Your Claim May Be Denied
Review and understand the reason your claim was denied. Some examples of common reasons can include:
- You might be at least partially at fault for the accident
- No medical documentation was included in your initial filing
- There is no injury diagnosis
- The claim exceeded the coverage limitations
- Specific exclusions in your policy prohibit the claim
- The time limit for filing elapsed before your submission
In many cases, the reason for the denial of a claim is easy to correct by submitting the necessary documentation or verifying the missing information. In more complex cases, consulting with an insurance claims attorney can help.
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Understanding a “Bad Faith” Denial—How It Can Affect Your Claim
Sometimes, an insurance company might deny a claim for an invalid reason. This is uncommon, but the insurance company may hope you will be frustrated and give up on your claim. You can fight for compensation if an insurance company acts in bad faith. Some signs of a bad faith transaction can include:
- The adjuster or agent failing to return your calls
- Undue delay in responding to inquiries
- Neglecting details, causing you to make several attempts to collect information
- Providing false information about the provisions of your policy
- Refusing coverage without a valid reason
- Losing documentation submitted with your claim
If an insurance company is participating in bad faith practices, you can take legal action to hold them responsible, and a lawyer can help.
For a free legal consultation call (855) 529-0269
Reviewing Your Policy and Preparing Your Appeal
Insurance companies are working to make a profit. There usually aren’t clear instructions regarding the appeals process on their websites. That is why the denial letter is so important. It contains the information insurance companies must tell you about how to appeal the denial.
Review your letter and the provisions of your policy as you prepare your appeal. When you submit an appeal letter, proofread it carefully and have someone else review it. When you work with a legal representative, they will handle these details. You can find additional information on insurance claims in Chapter 627 of the Florida Statutes.
Hiring a Law Firm to Assist With an Appeal Can Be Helpful
Insurance can be complicated. If you need clarification, a personal injury lawyer from Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can assist in filing an initial claim or appeal a denied one. We are a family law practice, and you will work with one of our partners, Debi or Jason Chalik. You are only permitted a limited time to appeal a denied claim. Contact us today.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (855) 529-0269