If Farmers Insurance refused to pay on your motorcycle crash claim, you can submit an appeal and try to reach an out-of-court settlement. But what if negotiations are unsuccessful and the company still refuses to compensate you for your accident-related injuries and losses? In this event, you are urged to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney who can help you with your claim and file a lawsuit, if needed, to pursue the compensation you deserve.
How Can I Appeal a Claim Denied by Farmers Insurance?
Under Louisiana’s at-fault system, the at-fault party’s auto insurance company (in this case, Farmers Insurance) is responsible for compensating the not-at-fault party (you, the motorcyclist) for accident-related losses. If they deny your claim, you can begin taking steps to appeal their decision. If you want to increase your odds of being successful, it may be in your best interests to have an attorney who can handle most of the following tasks for you:
1. Request a Written Explanation
You should request an explanation why they rejected your claim if Farmers Insurance has not provided one already. You need to understand precisely why your claim was denied, so you can begin collecting supporting evidence to file an appeal.
2. Collect Evidence
After you’ve received the insurer’s cause for their denial, you can begin collecting and organizing evidence that can support your version of events. This can include items such as the following:
- The police or accident report
- Contact information for eyewitnesses and written or record statements
- Photos or video from the accident scene and property damage
- Healthcare bills and medical records
- Income statements showing missed work and lost wages
3. Write an Appeal Letter
Include copies of evidence supporting your side of the story, such as the police report and photos of your injuries and property damage. State precisely why you know your motorcycle accident claim is legitimate and that you deserve compensation for your losses under the policy.
4. Attempt to Negotiate a settlement With the Insurance Company
It’s crucial to know that it’s best to have a motorcycle accident attorney negotiate for you—an insurer and their legal team can use anything you say to them against you later.
In most cases, the negotiation process will begin after you’ve submitted your appeal letter and evidence. However, even if the insurer does not deny your claim again, they may offer you a low-ball amount less than you deserve. An attorney can correctly evaluate your claim’s total worth and prove to the insurer that this is what they reasonably owe you.
5. Initiate a Lawsuit
If Farmers Insurance continues to deny or devalue your claim, initiate a lawsuit against the company. In Louisiana, motorcycle accident survivors have one year from the date the accident occurred to take civil action.
A motorcycle accident attorney can facilitate this process and manage all communications, negotiations, and court hearings as needed under legal deadlines.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
What Damages Can You Recover in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Compensation recoverable in a motorcycle collision claim includes calculable losses, such as medical bills, and subjective losses, such as pain and suffering. Damages sought may consist of the following and more:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance services, emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, follow-up doctor’s visits, therapy, etc.
- Past and present lost earnings due to missed work
- Diminished future earning capacity
- Property damage, including motorcycle repair or replacement costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Long-term or permanent disability
- Loss of life enjoyment or quality of life
If the motorcycle accident led to a loved one’s passing, eligible family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit on the decedent’s behalf. Compensation in a wrongful death claim can include damages for the decedent’s funeral and burial expenses, lost income, and other benefits.
Common Reasons Farmers Insurance Might Deny Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Insurers sometimes use dubious tactics to discourage accident victims from pursuing claims. Although some grounds for a claim denial are indeed legitimate, some are questionable. Reasons commonly used by insurance companies to deny an accident claim include the following:
You Were Responsible for the Accident
Motorcycle riders are subject to many erroneous beliefs, including that they are prone to driving carelessly or dangerously. Insurance companies may occasionally use these biases to blame motorcyclists for accidents. For example, they may claim you were driving too fast for conditions, driving negligently, or failing to follow traffic laws before the accident occurred. This shifting of blame might be more likely if you filed your claim through the other motorist’s insurer and not your own.
The Farmers Insurance Policy Lapsed
Like all insurance policies, monthly or yearly premiums must be made to maintain auto insurance coverage. If the liable driver fell behind on their payments, their policy might have lapsed. In a case like this, the driver may be considered uninsured. Then you could pursue a claim under your own policy’s underinsurance/uninsured motorist and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage if you have one.
You did Not Report the Accident in Time
Not promptly reporting an accident to another motorist’s insurer can be a reason for the company to deny your accident claim. For example, the company may say they weren’t given enough time to investigate your claim and doubt its accuracy. However, reporting an accident is not the same as filing a claim for damages, which you are often given a generous amount of time to do.
Get Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Claim Today
The motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help if Farmers Insurance or another insurer denied or devalued your accident claim. Please contact us for a free case review to learn how we can secure a fair settlement to cover your many losses. The earlier in the claims process we can begin working, the sooner you can start focusing on recovering from your accident and injuries.