Appealing your car accident claim may be an option if your claim was denied. Here is what you should know about the appeals process.
Sometimes, your car accident claim doesn’t have a happy or even adequate ending. Many victims can end up with a denied claim, even if they are completely eligible, or end up with lower settlements than they are entitled to.
In these cases, one option you may have is to file an appeal and see if that resolves the issue. However, there are some things you should know about the appeal process.
It’s Not Done by an Objective Third Party
When you have an issue with your claim or final settlement, you can first make an appeal with the claims supervisor. This is a person still employed by the insurance company you filed the claim with but has different tasks than the insurance adjusters.
Part of the claims supervisor’s job is to make sure the company did not overpay or underpay for the claim. Technically, they should act as an objective party that simply analyzes the claim to see how much it is worth. However, because they work for the insurance company they are far from objective. So, it’s unlikely that the opinion of the claims supervisor will differ from that of the adjuster.
You Can Also File a Lawsuit
A lawsuit is when the true third party appeal begins, as you take the matter in front of a judge. It’s more expensive than the insurance claim route, but if you’re dealing with a denied claim and cannot convince the company to award a settlement, it may be the only remaining option.
This should generally be discussed with an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney can represent your best interests in front of a judge. It’s a stage where both parties must passionately argue in their favor to persuade the judge to rule accordingly.
If you’re not happy with how the judge ruled, you can also appeal their decision. This won’t start a new trial, but it will take your case to the Missouri Court of Appeals, which is a higher court that can either throw out your case or overrule the first judge’s decision.
You Can’t Always Appeal
In court or not, appeals are only possible when there was a mistake in assessing your claim, or if the insurance company did something wrong intentionally. You can’t file an appeal because you’re not happy with how much money you were offered, or because you think a judge may be more sympathetic to your cause. It is done only when the initial process was problematic, which affected your claim negatively. This is another reason it is important to speak with an attorney immediately following an accident.
Speak to a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Reach out to a St. Louis car accident attorney for a free case consultation before you sign any document offered by the insurance company. Appeals don’t work if you agree to the terms of the company, even if they are unfavorable.
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