Insurance policies are designed to cover you in the event of an accident or injury so that you do not need to file a lawsuit. Especially for things like car insurance, you can often pay extra to ensure that there is enough money to take care of you when you are injured. But when insurance companies refuse to pay, can you turn to a lawsuit to get justice?
If your insurance company refuses to pay, there may be a few paths to take – one of which might be a lawsuit. Generally, you should start by trying to appeal the denial with the help of an attorney. If that fails or the insurance company appears to be acting in bad faith, you can often sue to get the money you need (and potentially additional damages).
For a free case review, call Legal Care New Jersey. Contact our New Jersey personal injury lawyers today at (732) 838-9769.
Can You Sue for an Insurance Denial in NJ?
If your insurance claim was denied, a lawsuit is one possible way to get the denial overturned and get you the money you deserve. However, the whole point of insurance is to get you the money you need without having to go to court. As such, there may be some other steps you can take before resorting to a lawsuit. If those steps fail, a lawsuit can be filed under certain circumstances.
Suing Your Insurance Company
If your own insurance company denied your insurance claim, there are often two reasons you can file a lawsuit: breach of contract and bad faith insurance.
An insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. That contract requires the insurance company to pay valid claims according to certain agreed-upon terms and conditions. If they fail to uphold their end of the bargain, you might be entitled to sue them.
Alternatively, if they never intended to pay valid claims in the first place, you could be entitled to sue them for bad faith insurance. An insurance bad faith claim accuses the insurance company of going beyond a mere breach of contract and instead says that they violated their duty of “good faith” by failing to make a good-faith effort to pay the claim in the first place. Our Newark personal injury lawyers go into more detail below about when a claim rises to the level of a bad faith claim.
Suing Another Insurance Company
If you are instead trying to get a claim paid by someone else’s insurance, you will generally sue the individual rather than the insurance company.
As a third-party claimant, you are not the policyholder and have no contract with the insurance company. For instance, if you are seeking damages for a slip and fall at a store or an accident while riding in someone else’s car, you might file a claim against their insurance policy. However, you are not part of that insurance policy and have no contract with the insurance company, which means you cannot sue them for breach of contract.
Instead, your Paterson personal injury lawyer will typically sue the responsible party for damages. Then, it is up to them and their insurance company to determine how they will come up with the money they owe you. Their insurance policy will typically require the insurance company to step in, provide them with a lawyer, and pay the damages when the court rules in your favor. But on your end, this typically looks like a lawsuit against the individual who was responsible for your injuries rather than a lawsuit directly against their insurance company.
Appealing an Insurance Denial in New Jersey
If you were denied after filing an insurance claim, you might be able to appeal the denial and get your damages paid without having to go to court. However, this process can be difficult without a lawyer’s help – and if all else fails, a lawsuit might be necessary to get the damages you need.
Most insurance companies have a process for appeals. It is important to check the website for your insurance company and the terms of your specific insurance policy to look for instructions on how to use this appeals process. Generally, the process will include a short deadline to act, so call our NJ personal injury lawyers and get started as soon as you can.
During an appeal, there may be a set process to file to have the claim reviewed a second time. Sometimes small mistakes or errors lead to denials, and a review of the claim could be enough to get it reversed. If the insurance company is missing information that could have helped them approve your claim, you can provide any missing information.
With the help of an experienced Jersey City personal injury lawyer, you can further press the appeal and work to convince your insurance company to pay the claim. If they do not, a lawsuit might be your best option.
Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuits in New Jersey
As mentioned, insurance companies have a duty of “good faith.” This means they must make a good-faith effort to pay valid claims. While there may be plenty of reasonable grounds to deny a claim – such as missing information, mistakes on your paperwork, or lapsed premium payments – there are also plenty of bad-faith reasons that claims are denied.
Insurance companies sometimes attempt to cancel policies after the claim is filed, delete records of claims, delete records of payments, or simply cut all communications with the claimant. Many of these issues constitute bad faith rather than a simple breach of contract or disagreement over the facts of the case. Call our Elizabeth personal injury lawyers to discuss a potential insurance bad faith lawsuit and punitive damages.
Call Our NJ Personal Injury Attorneys Today
For help getting your injury claim paid, contact our Edison, NJ personal injury lawyers at Legal Call today at (732) 838-9769.