The provision to appeal a denied claim offers a second chance for victims trying to claim damages for slip and fall injuries. Without it, insurance companies would deny claims for flimsy reasons, especially if victims do not have an attorney to represent them.
Of course, victims would rather win the initial claim. But in the event of denial, claimants can still defend their rights by presenting convincing evidence that proves the defendant’s liability.
With experienced slip and fall attorneys, Evansville victims can file a new claim. This article explores why insurance companies may deny a claim and what victims can do to appeal.
Why Insurance Companies May Deny Slip and Fall Claims
The leading reason insurance companies prefer not to pay victims is so they can make big profits. Even when they agree to pay, insurers will try their best to pay the least amount possible.
Personal injury victims without knowledge of the damages they are entitled to under Indiana law are especially vulnerable to insurance companies’ deceptive tactics. Given this, it is wise to have a slip-and-fall attorney represent them from the onset.
Below are some arguments the insurance company may use to deny a victim’s slip and fall damages claim.
The accident was the victim’s fault
Indiana applies the comparative fault law. This means that if the victim is liable for part of the damages, the awarded compensation will be lessened by the percentage they are deemed negligent. This is called contributory negligence. For example, if the insurance company finds that a victim contributed 20% of their damages, they will receive only 80% of the damages amount.
The law goes even further. If a victim is 51% or more to blame for their injuries, the law bars them from receiving compensation. Because of this, injured people may walk away with nothing despite suffering severe damages.
The key is to prove that the defendant was more at fault than the plaintiff. This task is not simple and requires victims to consult slip and fall attorneys in Evansville before filing or appealing their claims.
The key to building a solid slip-and-fall case is providing evidence of the defendant’s negligence. For example, if someone missed a step and fell on a stairway because of poor lighting, can they prove that the lack of lighting was the defendant’s fault? If a victim slips on a wet entryway on a rainy day, can they show that the building’s owner or manager did not act in time to remove the hazard?
Such technicalities can cause inexperienced victims to give up on securing the damages they may be entitled to.
The victim’s account of events must remain consistent. Otherwise, the insurance company can use their errors against them and deny the claim.
Aside from evidence such as photos and videos, a premises liability case in Indiana requires that witness statements support the victim’s claims. Insurance companies may interview those who responded to the scene, eyewitnesses of the incident, doctors, and other personnel to verify the victim’s claims. Without witnesses, it may be hard to build a winning case.
Disproportionate claim value
Insurance companies may argue that they are willing to pay, but the victim is asking for more money than their damages deserve. If that’s the case, victims can lower their demands or provide additional proof that they deserve what they’re claiming.
What can victims do to appeal?
If victims disagree with the insurance company’s decision, they’re welcome to appeal. They can:
- Renegotiate a different amount of compensation for damages.
- Provide additional evidence, such as current hospital bills and records.
- File a lawsuit.
Hiring a lawyer for the initial claim is crucial, but having the help of an attorney for this step is critical.
Wagner Reese Can Help Victims Appeal for Fair Compensation
Victims new to the claim application process should consider speaking with Evansville slip and fall attorneys before the initial claim. Having an attorney on their side can mean peace of mind, proper legal advice, and receiving the compensation they deserve.
There is still time to consult an attorney if the first claim falls through. Because these lawyers handle such claims daily, they’re in the best position to figure out what went wrong with the first claim.
The victim’s attorney can also renegotiate better settlement amounts even when the insurance companies have determined the recommended amount is too much.
Insurance companies and defendants in personal injury cases know that victims can appeal their findings. This knowledge moves them to accept liability sooner to avoid litigation. But they can take advantage of first-time victims lacking legal representation.
Premises liability victims can breathe easier with Wagner Reese on their side. Contact our Evansville office to speak with an attorney for free.