When you are injured in an auto accident in South Carolina, recovering your losses usually means filing an insurance claim. While the insurance companies are required to treat accident victims fairly and handle all claims in good faith, they are also well within their rights to deny coverage when coverage is not warranted.
To be clear, insurance companies use various tactics to avoid paying when they are required to do so, and bad-faith insurance denials are not uncommon. But, they deny claims for legitimate reasons as well, and, as someone who needs to recover your losses, it is important to understand what types of issues can lead to valid auto insurance claim denials.
WITH THIS IN MIND, HERE ARE 12 REASONS WHY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES MIGHT DENY YOUR SOUTH CAROLINA AUTO ACCIDENT CLAIM:
1. YOUR VEHICLE WAS IN NEED OF MAINTENANCE OR REPAIR
If your vehicle was not in good working condition, the insurance companies may argue that it should not have been on the road. In this scenario, it will be up to you to prove that your vehicle’s condition was not a factor in causing your collision.
2. YOU WERE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous, and it is justification for the insurance companies to deny coverage for auto accident injuries. However, this is only the case if your impairment was a factor in your collision. If you got hit while waiting at a red light, for example, your impairment might be entirely irrelevant to your claim for coverage.
3. YOU WERE DRIVING WITHOUT YOUR GLASSES
If you need to wear glasses when you drive, driving without them could lead to an auto insurance claim denial. Many other factors need to be considered, and driving without your glasses is not an automatic bar to recovering financial compensation.
4. YOU WERE UNDER A DOCTOR’S ORDERS NOT TO DRIVE
If you have one of several certain types of health conditions, you may be under a doctor’s orders not to drive—for your safety and the safety of others. Driving when it is dangerous to do so could lead to an insurance claim denial, and you will need to work with an experienced auto accident attorney to determine what options you have available.
5. YOU WERE SPEEDING, DISTRACTED, OR OTHERWISE NOT DRIVING SAFELY
Speeding, driving while distracted, and other potentially dangerous driving behaviors are common grounds for denying auto insurance coverage. However, even if you were engaging in one of these behaviors at the time of your accident, (i) it may or may not have been a causal factor, and (ii) you may still be entitled to partial coverage.
6. YOU MADE FALSE STATEMENTS WHEN FILING YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM
If you made false statements when filing your insurance claim, this could form the basis for a coverage denial as well. But, it may also be a fairly simple matter to correct your misstatement. The insurance companies intentionally ask accident victims to provide statements before they have a clear understanding of what exactly went wrong.
7. YOU DO NOT HAVE PROOF OF THE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT
In South Carolina, proof of fault is necessary to secure insurance coverage (unless you file for PIP or MedPay). If you do not submit adequate proof of the cause of your auto accident, then the insurance company will be justified in denying your claim.
8. YOU DO NOT HAVE PROOF OF THE CAUSE OR EXTENT OF YOUR INJURIES
The same is true concerning proving the cause and extent of your injuries. Unless and until you submit proof of how much you are entitled to recover, you cannot expect to receive the compensation you deserve.
9. YOU DID NOT FILE YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM IN TIME
Waiting too long to file an insurance claim is also a mistake that can deny coverage. However, waiting longer than necessary to get started is not an automatic bar to coverage, and South Carolina’s statute of limitations for car accident claims is three years.
10. YOU DID NOT RESPOND TO REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CLAIM
When you have an auto insurance claim, you need to remain actively involved in the process (or you need to hire a lawyer to remain actively involved for you). If you do not provide your insurance company with the information it needs to process your claim, this will eventually lead to claim denial.
11. YOU HAVE NOT PAID YOUR AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS
Non-payment of auto insurance premiums is another common justification for claim denials. If you seek coverage under your own policy and have not paid your premiums, this might justify a denial, but you may also still have grounds to seek coverage.
12. YOU HAVE NOT FOLLOWED YOUR DOCTOR’S ADVICE
Seeking medical attention is critical to filing a successful insurance claim, and so is following your doctor’s advice. If you ignore your doctor’s advice and your medical condition worsens. As a result, this may justify the insurance companies in at least partially denying coverage for your injury-related losses.
Regardless of the specific circumstances involved, you should never accept an auto insurance claim denial. You may still be able to secure coverage with the help of an experienced attorney. To discuss your South Carolina auto insurance claim in confidence, schedule a free consultation at Lewis Law Firm in Rock Hill, SC, today.
DO YOU HAVE AN AUTO INSURANCE CLAIM IN SOUTH CAROLINA? DISCUSS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS WITH A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR FREE
At Lewis Law Firm, Our auto accident lawyer helps car accident victims in Rock Hill and throughout South Carolina recover just compensation for their accident-related losses. To discuss your auto insurance claim with one of our experienced attorneys, give us a call at (803) 327-1103 or tell us about your accident online now.