If injury claim is denied, take action
Texas personal injury law provides a procedure for people who have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver to receive compensation for injuries and damages. However, it’s not an easy process. After you have tried to represent yourself by filing your claim, you often will get a letter or phone call saying that the company has denied it. Is it allowed to do that? What should you do in response?
Why are claims denied?
It is obvious that the claims adjuster works for the other driver’s insurance company, not you. His job is to carefully review each claim and either (a) find a way to deny it or (b) pay out as little money as possible. It is in the company’s best interest to deny claims. A few small companies even seem to make it their business model to deny every claim, hoping injured people go away. Then they get to keep the money they had reserved as profit.
These are the main reasons a claims adjuster uses to justify denying a claim:
- The driver did not have liability insurance: Even though Texas law requires that all drivers carry minimum liability coverage of $30,000 for any one person’s injuries, $60,000 for all people’s injuries, and $25,000 for property damage, approximately one-fourth of drivers here are not insured. But a lot of these people have fraudulent identification cards or official insurance cards that have expired that they hand to the police officer or you at the scene. This is an old trick that can cost you a lot of money unless you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage or file a lawsuit against the other driver and hope to get him to pay your damages, usually not worth your time and money.
- The driver or vehicle was excluded from coverage under the policy: this is similar to the above, when the other driver claims he is covered but you later learn that he was excluded. This often happens with teenage drivers, older vehicles, or where people are trying to save money and only list one person or car on the policy.
- The policy does not cover the accident or excludes the location where the crash occurred. There are other exclusions, including vehicles used for business purposes, ride-sharing (Uber and Lyft), racing, out of country crashes, and intentional collisions. Continue reading
We had the pleasure of representing a very nice young man who was riding his Harley Davidson in north Fort Worth last year. At an intersection, our client thought the driver in front of him was going to make a right turn, but instead he made a left turn and the two vehicles collided.
Unfortunately, the police officer blamed our client, who had already been rushed by ambulance to the hospital with a broken leg and didn’t have the chance to explain his side of the story. His claim was denied and he hired Berenson Injury Law to help him since we have successfully handled a lot of motorcycle crashes.
After a lot of pretrial investigation and protracted negotiations with adjusters and attorneys, we were able to make the insurance company pay the entire limit of the policy. The company’s lawyer believed he could easily win the case in court. Then we drastically reduced the young man’s medical bills, cut attorney’s fees, and waived expenses. As a result, our client received $20,000 of the available $30,000, an excellent result.
Utah first state to take action to make roads safer
Utah just lowered its blood alcohol content limit from .08% to .05% on December 30th — the day before New Years Eve. What a great idea. Obviously, the fewer people who are driving while intoxicated, the safer we will all be.
Utah said it was tired of arresting an average of 29 people a day, or 54,000 people over the last five years, but see people keep drinking and crashing. And that’s in a state that’s 60% Mormon and who are not even allowed to drink any alcohol.
So what should we do in a serious drinking state like Texas?
A blow to a driver’s or passenger’s head can change his or her life. Huge medical bills, pain, disability, lost wages, loss of future employment, and other damages can result. If this has happened to you, you will naturally wonder how much money you can receive. The answer is not an easy one but here is a list of over 80 variables that Berenson Injury Law uses to calculate a range of settlement values or jury verdicts for our injured clients. The factors include the severity, liability, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, bills paid and incurred, and insurance available. More information about how to estimate the average concussion settlement follows.
This post is a part of a series about injuries for those people who have unfortunately been hurt in a car or truck accident. Others related topics including head, neck and back injuries and broken bones are here.
Berenson Injury Law has resolved a Fort Worth truck accident for the maximum amount available of $350,000. The crash occurred when a pickup truck ran a stop sign and t-boned our client’s truck.
He was rushed to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with several fractured ribs. He later had to have a torn ligament in his right elbow surgically repaired on two occasions. He lost several thousand dollars from his job.
After obtaining the total available from two insurance policies, we substantially reduced his medical bills and attorney’s fees and our client received $170,000.
Today’s dangerous driving conditions are not what we wanted to kick off 2019. It’s been a bad morning on our roads. And the bigger problem is that we are not used to driving on icy roads in Fort Worth or North Texas. So many people don’t make any changes in their usual driving habits in their hurry to get from Point A to Point B. They refuse to slow down, brake, or maintain a proper distance behind the vehicle in front of them. They keep dialing phone numbers and texting while driving. So it t will be a busy day for police, tow trucks, and injury lawyers.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: The Star Telegram reported Fort Worth experienced 51 traffic wrecks from 5 a.m. until noon, way more than the 21 the day before. Tomorrow, roads will remain icy in patches and a little snow might even fall.
The good news is these bad roads didn’t hit us on New Year’s Eve or on Saturday when the Cotton Bowl was in Arlington. And that it is going to warm up. And that Mr. Berenson’s University of Texas football team won their big bowl game last night. And that we don’t live in Detroit!
Hopefully today’s and tomorrow’s bad weather is all we have this winter.
Here are a few tips to help keep you safe today.
Huge Problem Every Year: New Year’s Eve DWIs
Tonight is one of the most exciting and enjoyable holidays of the year. But some people get overly excited about the possibility of a fresh year. The holiday is synonymous with excessive consumption of alcohol. Starting on the weekend and culminating with New Year’s Eve DWIs are common. With all of the parties and events going on all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area tonight, car accidents causing serious personal injuries will increase.
To counter the increase of people who are driving while intoxicated and under the influence, this is a No Refusal Weekend across North Texas. Police departments will be out in force and will draw blood or take suspected drunks to hospitals, even without their consent. Tarrant County is particularly aggressive in pulling over drivers and prosecuting them for DWIs.
Our Roads Will Be Safer With Fewer Bad Teen Drivers
Sadly, car crashes are the leading cause of adolescent deaths across the United States. Worse, the rate of teenage motor fatalities is on the rise. But we make bad teen drivers drive more responsibly and protect their lives as well as our own. How? Here are some useful tips that will help parents keep kids safer behind the wheel.
Tragic Reminder: Dallas Hit and Run Driver Sentenced on Monday
On Christmas Eve, a 31-year-old man was found guilty of manslaughter and failing to stop and render aid after he crashed into Rachel Lynn Spelman last year on Cedar Springs Road. After hitting her at a speed of 53 in a 30 mph zone, the man kept driving — all the way to Oklahoma. There he repaired the car’s windshield and hid. At trial on Monday, the hit and run driver actually had the nerve to blame his victim for crossing the street in front of him. With his criminal activity, arrogant attitude, and prior history of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, the judge sentenced him to the maximum 20 years for failing to stop and render aid and 10 years for manslaughter.
This story angers us and would be horrible to read any time, but especially during the holidays. This beautiful woman had just graduated from Texas A & M with a 4.0 average and was working for Hewlett Packard in Plano. And on a personal level, she was a member of the same sorority Mr. Berenson’s daughter, who also works in Plano, was in when she attended Southern Methodist University. We send our sincerest condolences to her family and hope that no other family has to go through this nightmare.