The personal injury file-claiming procedure in Oregon is simple and straightforward. You just identify the at-fault party and file a claim with their insurance company. The company, through an insurance adjuster, will assess your case and decide whether they will approve your claim or not.
Many times, the company will approach you with a settlement offer even before you file a claim or respond to your claim with a counteroffer, usually bearing an amount less than what was in the initial claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer from Johnston Law Firm, P.C. would really come in handy in the negotiations as the insurance company will be working to keep the settlement at a minimum.
In some instances, the company’s offer is simply too low or your claim is rejected altogether. This article tries to outline the steps to follow when your personal injury claim is denied by the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Step #1: Review the denial with your lawyer
Acting in the heat of the moment following a claim denial may prove a misguided idea, but it is always wise to act fast. Study the denial carefully and pay attention to the company’s reasons for denial.
Step #2: Challenge the refusal
If, after reviewing the response, you reckon your claim was denied because of an error, send the insurance company a letter pointing out the error. You should be brief and straight to the point. Also, it is important that you avoid emotional language. If there is lack of clarity in the denial, request for a better detailed response. The next response will be either a letter of clarification or request for further action on your part. Sometimes you may not receive a response at all. Brace yourself for anything.
Step #3: Take legal action
If the insurance company fails to get back to you or maintains their stance and it is clear that your policy has been violated, you may be forced to take legal action. It is always advisable to avoid court by all means, but when the company arbitrarily ignores your calls to investigate the case further or mistreats you, you have no choice but to file a lawsuit.
The court will make use of the same case your attorney presented to the insurance company at the beginning of the case, so it would be wise to accord your claim the seriousness it deserves right from the word go. Even if you didn’t have a lawyer when facing the insurance adjustor, ensure you have one to represent you before the judge.
Court procedures and terminology can be super complicated and your limited knowledge of the law may prove costly in the long run. A lawyer will conduct investigations of your injury and policy and help you determine if you have a case. What’s more, they will review the opposing party’s defense and assess your chances of a favorable verdict. Claim denials are not uncommon and facing one should not cut your zeal to pursue justice.