If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident on another person's property but had your claim denied by the property owner's insurer, there's good news: A denial doesn't have to be the end of your claim—or the end of your pursuit of compensation and justice.
Adjusters for big insurance companies aren't looking out for your best interests, and just because an insurer denied your claim doesn't mean it wasn't valid. If you're getting the run around from an insurance adjuster or have had your slip and fall claim denied, it may be time to bring in a skilled personal injury lawyer to level the playing field and help you explore your legal options.
Here's what you should know about Tennessee slip and fall insurance claims and lawsuits, including how the knowledge and experienced attorneys with Weir & Kestner Injury Lawyers help clients lose their stress and win the recovery they deserve.
Common Reasons for Slip and Fall Claim Denials
Insurance companies have a bias toward denying claims because it's better for business. Having previously represented big insurers in litigation, we've seen firsthand how they assess, value, and handle claims. Here are some of the most common reasons insurers give for denying slip and fall claims.
Lack of Evidence Regarding Fault
If an insurer denied your claim for this reason, it means that they don't believe you provided sufficient evidence to show that the property owner in question had a duty to maintain the safety of their property and neglected that duty, resulting in your injuries. Essentially, you haven't provided enough evidence to show that your injuries were the property owner's fault. Fortunately, an attorney can help gather surveillance videos, photos, incident reports, witness statements, and other vital evidence.
Lack of Evidence for Injuries and Losses
You must have suffered more than embarrassment to recover compensation in a slip and fall case. The insurance adjuster needs to see proof of real physical injuries and financial losses, such as medical records, doctor or hospital bills, and photos or videos of your injuries. You can also submit evidence of wages lost while out recovering from your injuries, as well as any property damage or out-of-pocket expenses you incurred.
Claim Was Incomplete or Lacked Important Information
Insurers often have very specific claim submission requirements. Though the adjuster assigned to your claim may have mentioned them early in the process, it's easy to forget a requirement, make a mistake, or leave something out—especially when you're injured and not feeling your best. Getting help from an experienced attorney can help simplify what can be a complicated process.
You Asked for an Unreasonable Settlement Amount
It can be difficult to know what your slip and fall claim is worth, but if you ask for an amount that's astronomical, the insurance company may deny your claim outright. Don't risk it. A highly-skilled personal injury lawyer can both value your case (give you an estimate of what you might recover) and add value to your case, as claimants with counsel tend to recover more than those without.
You Failed to Mitigate Your Injuries
It's your responsibility to do what you can to lessen your injuries, which means seeking timely medical attention, following the treatment plan as prescribed, and attending follow-up visits with your doctor. If you haven't done this, the adjuster may deny your claim. If you have, make sure the adjustor knows and has the relevant documentation.
What You Can Do if Your Slip and Fall Claim Was Denied
You have two choices: Go back to the negotiations table—this time, with an attorney—or have that same attorney help you file a civil slip and fall lawsuit. However, Tennessee law gives slip and fall victims just one year from the date of the incident to file a claim, which means time is of the essence. Reach out to an attorney to discuss your options as soon as possible.