Car insurance companies regularly deny claims in Maryland. Insurance companies typically seek to maximize profits for their shareholders and pay out as little as possible to accident victims. If your claim is straightforward, the insurance company will usually pay up, although the insurer may not offer you what you deserve for your injuries. Complicated cases are often rejected altogether. You can sue your insurance company for denying your claim in Maryland.
A lawsuit can be filed against an insurance company for wrongful denial of benefits. This legal action can be complicated. Given that insurance companies typically will not deny a straightforward claim, you should consider hiring a Maryland injury lawyer in insurance denial cases. Baltimore car accident lawyer Randolph Rice is here to explain what you can do if you are denied an accident claim in Maryland.
When Will an Insurance Company Deny a Claim in Maryland?
Many factors can cause an insurance claim denial in Maryland. The insurer may argue you lacked coverage at the time of the accident. Insurance companies will seize on any irregularity to claim you were not covered by their policy when you had an accident. Often, insurance companies try to say your claim is under a canceled policy. Insurance policyholders often panic and don’t realize the onus is on the insurance company to prove this claim.
Our injury lawyers will look carefully at your documents to find out if the insurer misled you.
The insurance company may claim you had insufficient coverage. However, Maryland law sets out the minimum liability coverage as $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident; and $15,000 property damage.
Personal injury and property disputes often concern a dispute about how much a claim is worth. Insurance companies in Maryland routinely lowball claimants. They become more serious about negotiating after personal injury lawyers are hired.
However, the value of an insurance policy limits the available pot of money for a claim. Maryland car accident lawyers seek to maximize the payout, often by combining available insurance policies on parties to a car, truck, or motorcycle accident.
Insurance companies resort to many tricks. They may also give ‘soft denials.’ Instead of denying a claim outright, an insurance company may drag its heels, or obstruct each stage of the process. You may not realize this is happening. Insurance agents are usually polite and believable.
The insurance company hopes you will give up your claim, settle for a paltry amount, or run out of time. The Statute of Limitations means a car accident injury claim usually must be filed within three years of the crash in Maryland.
Insurers also seek to deny claims by disputing injuries. Insurers dismiss claims as minor if you wait too long for treatment. You should always see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid this trick. Carefully document all injuries, and pain and suffering. An insurance company may even contest whether the car accident caused your injuries. Adjusters may claim you were injured at a later date. Another common trick is to claim a preexisting condition caused your injuries.
The insurance company may also claim you were to blame, or were partially to blame for the accident that caused your injuries.
What to Do When the Insurance Company Says You were to Blame for a Maryland Accident
The fact an insurance company claims you caused your accident does not mean it was the case. In some instances, insurance companies side with at-fault drivers even when a police officer charges them over an accident. The insurance company may say its investigation found you were at fault. Insurers often take the side of their driver. This is particularly common in property damages case when there were no witnesses. You can hire an attorney to fight this finding.
Fault is not always straightforward. Drivers who violate the rules of the road in Title 21 of the Maryland Code are typically liable for accidents. A court will often find drivers who violate a statute to be negligent and to blame for a wreck.
Insurance companies also deny claims on the grounds a driver is partially at fault. Maryland has a strict law called contributory negligence. If you are just 1 percent to blame for an accident, you may be barred from making a claim for your injuries. Of course, there is no established standard for what 1 percent means.
Just five states now have a pure contributory negligence rule – Maryland, Alabama, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, and Virginia.
This is a very strict and old-fashioned rule. It can be very tough for an accident victim who was only partially to blame for a wreck to learn he will get nothing. The insurance companies may use fault or partial fault to deny your claim.
Insurance companies will seek to take your statements and twist facts. They will argue you were partially to blame for an accident that was not your fault. A thorough Maryland personal injury lawyer will interview witnesses and look through the pages of accident reports to get a true picture of what happened.
Even when the insurance company stops short of denying a claim, its lawyers will often fight larger compensation lawsuits by claiming you were partly at fault for your injuries.
Suing an Insurance Company That Denies Your Claim in Maryland
It’s important to know the law in Maryland. Insurance companies often blind claimants with science. They sound plausible. They assume people hurt in car accidents are desperate and will believe everything they tell them. Unfortunately, this is often the case. People who suffer serious injuries do not always think rationally. They may take an insurance company denial on face value and give up.
If an insurance company says no to your car accident injury claim in Maryland, you may not have reached the end of the road. Insurance adjusters frequently change their stance if they know you are serious about fighting your case.
Contact a Maryland Car Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
Be aware insurance companies are more likely to deny borderline or hard cases. These are more difficult for you to win. Going up against an insurance company alone can be a David versus Goliath kind of fight. The insurance company has massive resources and a team of lawyers. Insurers excel at wearing down claimants.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we have decades of experience at fighting cases against big insurers like GEICO and Allstate.
When an injury lawyer takes on your case insurance companies can no longer follow ‘soft denial’ tactics. The insurance company will be held to a rigid timetable and not allowed off the hook. A good Maryland car accident injury lawyer will always be prepared to take a client’s case all the way to the courtroom. Please call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (410) 694-7291.