If you were recently injured in a Seattle car accident, you know that auto insurance is designed to provide drivers with coverage for losses to property, as well as for medical expenses when crashes result in personal injuries. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner for Washington State emphasizes that Washington law requires drivers to have liability coverage (in the event that they cause harm to another party), but many drivers opt for additional coverage that can provide compensation in the event of a serious crash.
When you are paying expensive monthly premiums for auto insurance in Seattle, you should be able to expect that Progressive will approve your claim as long as you have met all of the requirements for filing a claim and have stayed up-to-date on your payments. However, many Seattle residents file auto insurance claims with Progressive only to learn that their claims have been denied. If you have a denied progressive insurance claim, you should learn more about the appeals process, as well as other options, by speaking with a Seattle car accident lawyer.
Determining Whether Your Claim Should Have Been Covered
When an insurance company like Progressive denies an auto insurance claim, it is important for the claimant to determine precisely why the claim was denied. There are many reasons that auto insurance claims can result in a denial, and you may be able to obtain compensation by filing an appeal. Some common reasons for denials include but are not limited to:
- Your policy does not cover this type of accident;
- You let your coverage lapse;
- You are not named on the insurance policy;
- Your vehicle is not listed on the insurance policy;
- The claim amount exceeds the limits of your policy coverage;
- You did not report the accident to Progressive within the required time frame; and/or
- You missed a required step or procedure required by Progressive.
Sometimes, however, claims are denied in bad faith. What constitutes bad faith or an unfair insurance claim denial in Washington State?
Unreasonable Insurance Claim Denials Under Washington State Law
Insurance companies operating in Seattle are required to operate and to review submitted claims in good faith. Washington law defines an unreasonable denial of a claim for coverage or payment of benefits can include:
- Unfairly settling claims;
- Misrepresenting provisions of an insured’s policy;
- Failing to acknowledge relevant communications with the insured; and
- Failing to investigate an insured’s claim in a timely manner.
What can you do if you believe your Progressive claim was denied in bad faith? Under Washington law, “any first party claimant to a policy of insurance who is unreasonably denied a claim for coverage or payment of benefits by an insurer may bring an action . . . to recover the actual damages sustained, together with the costs of the action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.”
If you plan to file a claim, the statute lays out a specific time period for giving notice. A car accident attorney in Seattle can help to ensure you take the proper steps.
Steps for a Denied Progressive Insurance Claim Appeal
Generally speaking, the appeals process will require you to take the following steps, and it is important to do so with an experienced Seattle car accident attorney:
- Learn why your claim was denied;
- Review the original claim you submitted; and
- Gather evidence for your appeal.
You should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer about the appeals process, which can be complex and frustrating if you have not previously filed such an appeal. The specific documents required for an appeal, as well the steps required by Progressive, are important to follow in order to have your claim approved the second time around. Keep in mind that, even if you do not win your appeal, you still may be able to file a motor vehicle accident lawsuit against the driver responsible for the accident.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Washington
If your claim was denied and you ultimately cannot obtain compensation from the insurer, you may be eligible to file a car accident lawsuit against the negligent driver. If you decide to file a car accident lawsuit, you will need to abide by the Washington statute of limitations for personal injuries.
In Washington State, the statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits is three years. This means that you will need to file your lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident in order to be eligible for compensation.
Contact a Seattle Car Accident Attorney for Help with Insurance Claims in Seattle
Was your Progressive insurance claim denied? A car accident attorney in Seattle can assist you. Contact Khan Injury Law, PLLC to learn more about our services.