If you’re an Indiana resident struggling with an accident claim, you might consider suing your insurer without a lawyer.
It’s understandable given mounting expenses, emotional stress, and frustration with the process.
However, as you’ve likely realized, this path can be challenging when insurers start delaying and requesting evidence.
Why would I sue my insurance company?
Indiana residents often sue their insurance companies due to perceived unjust claim denials or deliberate obstacles to avoid payouts.
Common reasons for such lawsuits include:
Your claim was denied
After a claim denial, you might sue your insurer.
They often contest claims and deny them if they can find a reason.
They may scrutinize evidence or your application form for errors, like incorrect accident times or missing signatures, leading to claim rejection.
Your claim wasn’t processed within the legal time frame
Insurance companies in Indiana must decide on claims within a “reasonably prompt” time frame, often interpreted as within a billing cycle.
Avoidance of payout
Good faith laws require insurers to pay claims promptly.
If the insurer hesitates to pay after accepting your claim, causing a delay that affects your immediate needs, you should consider initiating a lawsuit.
Incomplete documentation can lead an insurer to reject your claim as potentially fraudulent.
Keep in mind this isn’t a legal declaration and can be contested in court if you wish.
If the insurance company’s settlement offer doesn’t match your pain and suffering, a lawsuit might be a viable choice, as the insurer is unlikely to negotiate for a higher settlement.
How to Sue Without a Lawyer
Suing an insurance company without a lawyer means you’ll bear the entire burden of proof, requiring in-depth knowledge of insurance policies, laws, and the legal system.
You must handle paperwork, delivery services, and expect substantial time and expense.
While lawyers can’t guarantee success, self-representation often results in unfavorable outcomes.
Successful litigation often depends on experienced professionals, particularly when facing corporate legal teams.
If you opt to proceed solo, be prepared for several essential steps.
File a police report
After an accident, file a police report. If there are severe injuries or property damage, contact law enforcement at the scene.
For minor incidents, you can file a report online.
This report serves as essential, indisputable evidence for your case, crucial for court documentation.
Collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses
Forensic evidence is crucial for your case against the insurer.
Gather photos or videos of the accident, injuries, and damage.
Obtain medical records and consider preparing an affidavit for your doctors.
Ensure they review and sign it. If there are witnesses or experts, document their testimony, as you may require their presence if your lawsuit proceeds to court.
Representing yourself in meetings and in court
When suing without a lawyer, you must represent yourself in court and during negotiations with the insurance company.
They typically have skilled attorneys on their side, so you’ll face them in meetings and court if necessary.