How do I proceed after my insurance claim is denied?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I proceed after my insurance claim is denied?

A semi truck scraped the side of my car while driving and after the incident the
driver swerved back into his lane and sped off. We were still able to move so we
followed the truck to an exit. After we followed him onto an exit lane, he swerved
back onto the interstate and continued to drive off. We called the state troopers at
that point and they caught the driver and made a police report of the incident.
The driver then told the insurance he did not hit my car and my claim was denied.
There’s over 1,300 worth of damage and I plan on taking it to small claims court
however, I have never seen the inside of a court room or taken anyone to court
so I’d like some advice. Also, there was 2 of us in the car.

Asked on August 25, 2016 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your only recourse is to sue the trucking company and the driver for negligence. You have the police report which I assume attributes the cause of the accident to the truck driver.  That is important evidence to present in your case.
There is a small claims court advisor, who can help you to complete the appropriate forms and file them with the court.  Your summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit) are served on the at-fault parties (company and driver). You can find process servers online or in the Yellow Pages under attorney services.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) should include the cost of repairs (property damage) to your vehicle.  Upon prevailing in the case, you can also recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.
If the passenger in your car was NOT injured, the passenger doesn't have a claim since the accident was property damage only to your vehicle.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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