Motorcycle accident victims often sustain severe injuries and have substantial physical, emotional, and financial damages. Insurance companies are supposed to provide accident victims with the funds that they need to get through the ordeal.
Unfortunately though, insurance companies often have their own agenda: to increase profits. Insurers might wrongly deny legitimate claims, preventing access to essential benefits that injured motorcycle accident victims need.
While some claims are rejected with due cause, others are denied for illegitimate reasons. If the insurance company denied a motorcycle claim you filed, consider these three reasons for the denial and whether the denial was just.
#1: Insurers May Argue Fault
Insurance adjusters will often try to argue fault in order to reduce payouts, especially if filing a liability claim with another motorist’s insurance policy. The insurer might say the rider was negligent, wasn’t paying attention, or didn’t follow the rules of the road, and therefore, he is not entitled to damages.
Insurance companies and attorneys often duke it out when it comes fault because each party’s degree of fault affects the settlement. Georgia follows what’s known as the modified comparative fault rule with a 50 percent fault threshold. This rule says that the claimant’s settlement amount will be reduced by your degree of fault.
So for instance, if the other party’s insurance company says that the rider was 40 percent at fault, it will only be responsible for paying the rider 60 percent of the damages, rather than 100 percent. Apportioning blame is a trick they often use to wiggle out of paying large settlements. Further, if the rider is at least 50 percent at fault, then he is not entitled to damages at all.
#2: The Insurer May Refute the Claimant’s Injuries
Another common reason an insurance company will deny a claim is because they refute the claimant’s injuries.
Common falsehoods they may try to claim follow.
- You are exaggerating your injuries.
- Your injuries are pre-existing.
- The injuries are entirely made up.
Insurance companies may even conduct an investigation and perform surveillance to catch you doing things that are contrary to your injury.
This is why it’s crucial for motorcycle accident victims to consult an attorney and begin collecting evidence that proves their injuries. Doctors’ visits, treatment notes, and an injury journal are all great ways to start. The more evidence you can collect to demonstrate your injuries and the other party’s fault, the better your chances may be of winning your claim or appeal.
#3: Some Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith
Sometimes, if your motorcycle claim is denied, it may be because the insurer is acting in bad faith. Some insurance companies may deny, stall, or reduce a claim without providing any valid reasons. Bad faith is a legal term that means that the insurance company isn’t holding up to its responsibilities.
Below are some examples of bad faith practices.
- Undervaluing your claim.
- Not giving you your settlement in a timely manner.
- Not communicating with you.
- Flat out denying your claim without any justification.
Claimants may speak to an attorney and file a bad faith claim if the insurance company denied a motorcycle claim for unjust reasons.
If the courts determine that the insurer did, in fact, act in bad faith, they will order the insurer to not only pay the true value of the claim to the victim, but also an additional amount equal to more than 50 percent of the insurer’s liability or $5,000, whichever is more.
Insurance company denied a motorcycle claim? Call Jason R. Schultz
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident in the Peachtree City area, call attorney Jason Schultz for a consultation. Our firm will review your case, determine the validity and true value of your claim, and then take the necessary legal steps to fight for the full amount of compensation to which you’re entitled.
Contact our firm today at 404-474-0804 if the insurance company denied a motorcycle claim you filed and was unjust in doing so, or if you otherwise require help with an insurance claim after a serious accident.