Defenses Insurance Companies Often Use to Reduce or Deny Car Accident Claims

By Peter DePaolis

Car accidents can be extremely scary and the damage that can occur can be devastating. You may feel that you have enough evidence to prove that the other driver was the one responsible for the accident. And you probably assume that with such clear evidence it should not be difficult to settle your claim for your injuries. However, that is not necessarily the case. In fact, it is not uncommon for the other driver’s car insurance company to attempt to combat your claims using some common defenses. 

Another Driver

When an accident involves more than two drivers, the negligent driver may attempt to point the finger at the other driver, either partially or completely claiming them at fault. In order to protect yourself and your right to compensation for injuries, it is essential that you file a claim with all parties that may be responsible for your damages. 

Mitigation of Damages

If you fail to do mitigate your damages immediately after the accident, the insurance company may try to argue that you contributed to the worsening of your own injuries. Alternatively, if you have sought treatment, insurance companies may attempt to argue that the treatment you chose was too expensive (unnecessarily so), and therefore they should not have to pay for it. 

Pre-Existing Injuries

If you had an injury prior to the car accident, the insurance company may attempt to argue that it was not the accident that caused the injury, as you already suffered from it. However, this does not preclude you from recovery so long as you can demonstrate that there is causation between the accident and the injuries from which you are suffering. 

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the time period that you have under the law to file a lawsuit for a car accident. In DC you must file within three years of the date of the accident for any personal injuries, and two years from the date of death of a family member (if his or her injuries were responsible for the death). If you do not file your lawsuit within this period of time, the insurance company may claim this failure as a defense and the judge will likely dismiss the case altogether. 

Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP Can Help Those in DC Who Have Been Injured in a Car Accident Due to the Negligence of Another

It is clear that insurance companies do not always make recovery an easy task. There are many things that they may try in order to minimize or even eliminate all recovery. In order to best protect your interests, it is wise to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable DC Personal Injury attorney. 

At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP, we understand how insurance companies operate, as we have had much experience in dealing with them. You should not have to suffer due to another’s negligence. We fight for our clients to get what they deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today to learn more.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.