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How do I negotiate with an insurance company when I think that their bodily injury settlement is too low?

San Diego, CA |

I got rear-ended at a stoplight and my car was totaled. My head and neck hurt within 15 minutes of collision. Other party was 100% at fault. Had to go to urgent care and then to a chiropractor since my neck still hurt one week plus after the accident. Was very stressed out over whole ordeal. Missed some work due to chiro appointments. Now insurance company is ready to settle and I feel the settlement is too low. I just want to make sure I get what's fair.

Attorney Answers 16


  1. If you are 100% fine from the collision, then perhaps you can resolve this without a professional advocating for you. Otherwise, you need a local and qualified personal injury attorney.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


  2. You will never get anything close to a fair bodily injury settlement without the real and present risk on their part of facing litigation. I would suggest retaining an attorney immediately to prosecute the claim.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery. Any testimonials or endorsements should not be construed as a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of your case.


  3. Have you talked to a lawyer in your area that handles these types of cases? If not you will have a very difficult time with the defendants insurance company because they know you do not possess the knowledge on how to successfully handle the claim. Only an expericenced attorney can tell you based on all the facts what is "fair". Speak with a lawyer. They will consult with you free for the intial consultation and then you can decide how to proceed.


  4. You absolutely need to retain an attorney to assist you in your negotiations with the insurance company. No one on this site is going to be able to evaluate your case and advise on a forum like this as to what is "fair" in your specific situation. It requires a review of the facts and circumstances, medical records, etc. Of course they are going to low-ball you. They are not working in your interests, but an attorney retained to represent you will. Use the Find a Lawyer tab on Avvo to find one in your area. Best of luck...

    THESE COMMENTS MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. Comments made on websites such as Avvo.com are provided for information purposes only, and you should not base a decision to act or refrain from acting based upon this answer. The only way to determine how the law may apply to your particular situation is to consult with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. . That relationship is established by the execution of a written agreement for legal services. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.


  5. As everyone said, consult with personal injury attorneys in San Diego before you accept the settlement. If attorneys are not interested in representing you because the damage amount does not warrant getting involved, you can sue the driver/owner of the vehicle in small claims court.

    This information is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only.


  6. Sometimes insurance companies will pay fair value for a claim to a person who is not represented by an attorney. Often they will not. They assume that you don't know the fair settlement value of your claims, and are not serious about pursuing them because you are unrepresented.

    The fair settlement value of your claim is a complicated issue. There are lots of people (insurance adjusters and lawyers) who make their livings evaluating claims. Determining the value of yours is going to require a lot more information than you have provided here.

    Long story short, you may need to hire a lawyer to get what's fair. And the best way to figure out whether to hire a lawyer is to talk to a good one. Most of us offer free initial consultations, with no obligation to sign up. Why would you not take advantage of free information?


  7. I live and work in San Diego County and am happy to answer your question. You should immediately consult with an attorney.

    Offices in San Diego and Carlsbad, California. Attorney's direct line 619-233-6078. The responses here are not intended as legal advice. Do not rely upon the responses herein. Consult an attorney. Strict time limits apply and failure to act within those time limits will result in a complete loss of all rights to seek legal redress.


  8. Then get a local lawyer


  9. Like others here, I live and work in California and understand your predicament. What is happening to you happens very often to persons who do not retain an attorney. When you need a doctor, do you go to the doctor or do you treat yourself? You are in that same situation here. I am sorry to hear of your injury and hope you have a speedy recovery. Best of luck.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  10. If you get a lawyer you'll do better. Otherwise your only threat to them is that you'll file suit. They don't take it that seriously because you have no lawyer. A rough cycle...


  11. If you want to maximize your chances of getting something that is fair then get an experienced personal injury attorney. If you want to almost guarantee that you do not get a fair settlement, just keep doing what you are doing.


  12. The answer is you don't. You have a good lawyer do it.


  13. If you want to get what's fair you're going to have to hire an attorney. The insurance company will not give you a fair offer without an attorney.

    William Daley (619) 238-1905 / www.lawofficeofwilliamdaley.com


  14. talk with a lawyer and determine a fair settlement amount. If you cannot get close file a lawsuit. Better yet just hire an attorney to handle to completion.


  15. Can't really add much to the other answers. Insurance companies are not your friend. They only care about making a profit. If they thought they could get away with paying you $1 they would do it in a minute. Hire an attorney and let him worry about it. Nice thing about hiring the right attorney is that your job is then to get well, attorney handles everything else.


  16. You might want to consider retaining a skilled personal injury attorney in your area

    The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response is for educational purposes only. I have not met with you and I am not knowledgeable about the specific details of your case. Each case is unique and different. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you contact and meet with a licensed criminal defense attorney to discuss your specific circumstances. In addition, an attorney-client relationship is not created by virtue of this response.

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