Washington, D.C. Residents Involved in Car Accidents May Be Denied Insurance Coverage Due To Strict Notice Provisions

Purchasing car insurance is a good idea for all Washington, D.C. residents who drive—whether it be to work every day or just for errands occasionally. Whilst most car trips conclude without incident, Washington, D.C. car accidents do occur every day and can cause severe injuries in the blink of an eye. If a Washington, D.C. resident is involved in a car accident, they may rely on their insurance to cover the resulting costs, to ensure that they do not go into debt as a result.

However, it is important for all Washington, D.C. drivers to remember that having insurance does not necessarily mean you are covered in all circumstances, no matter what. Some insurance policies may have specific rules or procedures that drivers must follow if they hope to collect under their policy. For instance, some have “notice provisions,” which require a driver to notify the insurance company about an accident and resulting injuries and treatment to recover under the policy.

A recent state appellate court case, resulting from a car accident, provides an example of how these notice provisions work. According to the court’s written opinion, the accident occurred in August 2016, when the plaintiff was rear-ended while stopped at an intersection. After the collision, the plaintiff went that same day to a doctor’s office. The doctor examined her and x-rayed her neck, and then told her that she had whiplash. Almost two years later, in March of 2018, the plaintiff had surgery on her neck. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was insured by the defendant in the case, a well-known insurance company. Her policy stated that, to make the specific type of claim involved in this case, she must notify the insurance company of the claim and give them all of the details about the death, injury, treatment, and other information the company may need as soon as reasonably possible. The policy then stated that legal action could not be taken against the defendant insurance company unless the insured complied with the policy’s provisions.

The plaintiff ended up bringing suit against the driver that hit her, and also served the defendant insurance company to try and recover under her policy. However, the defendant insurance company filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiff failed to comply with the notice provisions of her insurance policy. It turns out that the plaintiff had never actually notified her insurance company about the claim. The court found that under the policy’s plain language, she could not recover from her insurance company in this case.

Have You Been Injured in a Washington, D.C. Accident?

If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering about your options for recovering from the other drivers involved or from your insurance company. The case discussed above shows that sometimes it can be tricky to follow all the specific rules and procedures required to recover. Because of this, you should call the skilled advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, to help you and learn more about your options. Call today at 800-654-1949.

Contact Information