What to Do if the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Refuses to Settle Your Car Accident Claim
Motor vehicle accidents remain a serious public safety problem in Connecticut and throughout the United States. Indeed, according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 35,092 Americans were killed in car accidents in 2015 alone. Hundreds of thousands more suffered very serious injuries.
The party that is at fault for an accident is legally liable for any damages. Most often, the at-fault party is one of the drivers. The NHTSA’s Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey estimates that human error contributes to approximately 94% of all automobile accidents. When drivers cause accidents, their insurance companies owe the victims fair compensation. Unfortunately, all too often, insurance companies refuse to settle wholly valid legal claims.
Under Connecticut law, there are two primary ways to obtain damages when you are injured in a crash: either by filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurer or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, it makes sense to settle with the other driver’s insurance company before filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The question really is: Should you trust the insurance company to do what is fair for you if you are injured? The insurance company, in an effort to save money, could:
- Stall the injured person until they lose their rights because the statute of limitations has passed;
- Go for a quick settlement before the injured person really understands the extent of their injuries and any permanent effect (MMI, which stands for Maximum Medical Improvement); and
- Not tell the injured party all they know about the cause of the collision.
Here, our Hartford auto accident attorneys discuss what you should do if the other driver’s insurer simply will not settle.
Three Steps to Settle Your Car Accident Claim When the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Refuses
Know the Reasons Why Your Claim is Being Delayed or Denied
There are many different reasons why an auto insurance company may delay or deny the settlement of your claim. In some cases, it may be because of (correctable) mistakes in the filing process. In other cases, it might be because the insurance company is not treating you fairly. Some of the most common reasons for the settlement delay or claim denial include:
- A victim’s failure to seek proper medical treatment;
- Questions or confusion about a victim’s injuries or medical records;
- A dispute over who was actually at-fault for the accident;
- A dispute over whether or not the driver was actually covered by the insurance policy; and
- Unfair or dishonest settlement tactics by the insurance company.
Regardless of why your settlement offer is being held up, the bottom line is clear. If another driver is at fault for your accident, their insurer is responsible for your damages. If they refuse to pay, you can, and should, take legal action to seek full and fair compensation.
Seek Professional Legal Assistance
If the insurance company is not working with you, you need to seek help from a qualified auto accident attorney. Your attorney will be able to review your case and determine how to move your case forward.
Consider Pursuing a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
There are many reasons an insurer may refuse to settle a claim, but in some cases, the insurer’s refusal may constitute bad faith. Under Chapter 704 of the Connecticut state statutes, all insurance companies have a legal duty to use good faith settlement practices. Delaying settlement or denying settlement when liability is clear is a violation of state law. Victims of bad faith insurance settlement practices are not only entitled to recover compensation for the full value of their underlying claim, but they may also be able to recover additional damages, including attorneys’ fees, any consequential damages and in some cases, even punitive damages.
Contact Us Today
Ultimately, if you need assistance with your claim, don’t hesitate to contact one of our skilled car accident attorneys at Stanger Stanfield Law for help. We can help you throughout each step of the process to ensure you recover the compensation that you deserve.