Can I deny my insurance company’s claim outcome?

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Can I deny my insurance company’s claim outcome?

I was involved in an accident and it was with a brand new car I bought. Insurance company only wants to pay for the physical damage but not the engine failure. They state that I am liable for that because I drove my vehicle after the accident. They say the accident didn’t cause the engine to over heat, however when the impact occur it caused damage to the coolant. There was no visible smoke or liquids leaking so I didn’t know it wasn’t safe to drive. I only drove it from the place of accident to my hotel which was only less than 10 minute trip.

Asked on March 31, 2019 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Your only option to recover the additional money (for the engine damage) is to sue your insurer for "breach of contract." The insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurer: they are obligated to pay when the terms of the policy say they should. To get a judgment in your favor and force them to pay, you will have to prove in court, by a "preponderance of the evidence" (or "more likely than not") that the accident caused the damage and that you had no reason to suspect you should not drive the car further. This will likely require the testimony of a mechanic who examines your car and can support your version of what happened with is expert testimony. If you can prove that the damage came out of the accident, the insurer will have to pay you the same way they pay for other damage from the accident (e.g. the physical damage). 


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