If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, it could be more difficult than you think to prove the property or business owner’s negligence. Even if you establish negligence, their insurance company could deny your claim or try to pay you far less than you deserve in your settlement.
Five Reasons Your Claim Could Be Denied
If you want to obtain all the compensation you deserve, you need to know the top reasons the insurance adjuster could use if they deny your claim. This will help you be prepared for the disputes you might have with the insurance company. In addition, you will know what additional evidence you may have to collect to refute their arguments. Here are five of the most common reasons your claim could be denied:
- Delay in medical treatment. If you delayed obtaining medical treatment because you did not believe that you were hurt, the insurance company could argue that your injuries were caused by another incident or are not that serious. However, you may not have realized you were injured if the symptoms did not develop for days or longer after your accident—common in these cases.
- Lack of medical records. Because you are seeking compensation for injuries you suffered in the accident, you need good medical records that document the seriousness of your injuries, the treatments you need, and a final prognosis for your recovery. Your claim could be denied if you provide inadequate records.
- Failure to file an accident report. If you did not file an accident report with the property or business owner in a timely fashion, the insurance company could argue that your accident did not happen or that you were injured in another incident.
- Your negligence. The insurance adjuster could argue that you were partially at fault for causing your injuries. Insurance companies love to make this argument in Virginia because our state follows a harsh contributory negligence rule that prevents you from receiving compensation if you were at all at fault. However, just because they claim this does not make it true.
- Failure to mitigate damages. As an accident victim, you must mitigate, or reduce, your damages if possible. If you do not follow your doctor’s advice on the medical treatments you need or engage in activities that could make your injuries worse, your claim may be denied due to your failure to mitigate your damages.
What Should You Do If the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim?
You need to keep in mind that just because the insurance company says they have a good reason to refuse to pay you does not mean that you do not have a right to compensation. If they denied your claim without giving you a reason, you should request that they state their reasons to you in writing.
You should also retain an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible. They can help you collect additional evidence to prove your right to compensation. They will also have arguments to refute the insurance company’s reasons for not settling your claim. If it becomes necessary, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Were you or a family member injured in a premises liability accident? We have decades of experience successfully settling and litigating these claims. To find out how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.