If you got hurt in a pedestrian accident and the at-fault party is insured by the Louisiana Farm Bureau, you might have submitted an injury claim to the insurance company. But what should you do if your pedestrian accident claim was denied by the Louisiana Farm Bureau?
An insurance company is not a court of law. You do have options if the Louisiana Farm Bureau unfairly denies your claim. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you move forward.
About the Louisiana Farm Bureau
The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation (LFBF) began on the Dodson farm, not far from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1921. What started as a few farmers grew into our state’s largest general farm organization and represents ranchers, farmers, and people who live in rural areas.
The LFBF is a private, non-profit, non-governmental organization with a membership of nearly 137,000 people and companies. The Louisiana Farm Bureau employs investigators and claims adjusters to handle claims against their insured.
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Reasons Pedestrian Injury Claims Get Denied
Claim denials fall into four primary categories:
There Is a Legitimate Reason that the LFBF Is Not Liable for Your Injuries
Many different things can be defenses for LFBF concerning your claim. For example, the at-fault party’s insurance policy might have lapsed for non-payment. You might still have a claim against the at-fault party, but not against its former insurance company.
Another defense might be that the policy specifically excludes coverage in certain circumstances. For example, some policies refuse to pay claims if the defendant/insured was involved in illegal activity when the accident happened.
Let’s say that your pedestrian accident happened when the at-fault driver was engaged in a high-speed chase with the police. The insurance company might not cover your losses, but you would still have a claim against the defendant.
The Insurer Needs More Information
Sometimes, an insurance company denies a claim simply because they do not have all the information they need to evaluate their liability. Rather than requesting additional documents, they might issue a denial of the claim on the basis that the data they have in their possession does not support your claim.
The Investigator Made a Mistake
Investigators are human. We all make mistakes on the job from time to time. The insurance company’s investigator might have reached the wrong conclusion about the evidence, mixed up your claim file with someone else’s, or made some other error. You will want to request specific reasons for the claim denial to help you identify if someone made a mistake.
The Claims Adjuster Is Playing “Hardball”
Some claims adjusters try to impress their bosses by getting extremely favorable outcomes on their assigned files. They might think nothing of wrongly denying valid claims in hopes that people will give up and not fight the denial. The claims adjuster then gets a result of paying zero dollars on that claim.
Claims adjusters can get into trouble if they use this tactic too frequently. An insurance policy is a contract. It requires the insurer to pay a reasonable sum to resolve valid claims.
An aggressive claims adjuster might trample on the rights of injured parties until someone takes action to make them handle claims in good faith. An adjuster like this is unlikely to back down until you get a lawyer involved with your claim.
The Insurance Claims Process
Let’s walk through the steps of the insurance claims process in a typical pedestrian accident case:
- The police get called to the scene of the collision. They make observations, talk to interested parties and witnesses, and gather information. The law enforcement officer puts this information into a police report.
- You contact the insurance company of the driver who struck you.
- You work directly with the claims adjuster, signing releases for your medical records and employment reports.
- The claims adjuster investigates the situation and receives settlement authority, which is usually in the form of a range. For example, the adjuster gets authorized to settle the case for between $10,000 and $15,000, which is what the insurer thinks a jury might award.
- The claims adjuster makes a lowball offer of $5000. Not realizing that you have to pay your medical bills and losses out of this one check, you enter into the settlement.
- Later, as the medical bills roll in, you reach out to the claims adjuster and ask for more money. The adjuster says that you signed a waiver and release which bars you from further claims from the accident.
You do not have to go through the claims process in this manner. If you work with an attorney from the beginning, the lawyer will deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf and negotiate to achieve a fair settlement.
Money Damages You Might Get in a Pedestrian Injury Case
The compensation you might go after for your losses from a pedestrian injury accident can include:
- Lost income when you could not work because of your injuries
- Medical expenses to treat your wounds
- Disfigurement from extensive scarring of your injuries
- Pain and suffering for the inconvenience, discomfort, and emotional distress of the accident and your injuries.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can talk to you at no cost about fighting the denial of your pedestrian accident claim against the Louisiana Farm Bureau. Contact our team today and let us make sure your rights are protected.