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

Asked 9 months ago - 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. Cory Russell Weck

    Contributor Level 11

    23

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  2. Mariam Mary Margaryan

    Contributor Level 15

    21

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  3. Steven Mark Sweat

    Contributor Level 19

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  4. David Herman Hirsch

    Contributor Level 20

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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. Alan Ray Barnes

    Contributor Level 17

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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?

  6. Albert Lee Crosner

    Contributor Level 18

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  7. Jeffrey Mark Adams

    Contributor Level 20

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  8. Christopher John Gansen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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...

  9. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Then get a local lawyer

  10. David Phillip Beeson

    Contributor Level 10

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  11. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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. William Peter Daley

    Contributor Level 17

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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
  13. Joseph John Bernardo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    13

    Lawyers agree

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

  14. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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. Travis Gale Black

    Contributor Level 8

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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. Yaniv Kenan

    Contributor Level 11

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more

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