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If the insurance adjuster is trying to low ball me, is my next option to file a complaint against the other driver?

Santa Monica, CA |

The insurance company accepted liability and they are currently disputing damages in a past auto accident claim. I feel like a jury verdict reward will be substantially higher than what they are currently offering me. Is my next option to sue the individual responsible? If so, will the insurance provide legal representation for the individual? Damages are over 10k

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Attorney answers 5


Yes, if you do not accept the low ball settlement offer, your next step is to file a lawsuit against the other driver, and then have the summons and complaint served upon him or her.

if the other driver tenders the defense to his or her insurance carrier, the insurance carrier is obligated to defend and indemnify (which means yes, they will provide legal representation for him or her).

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.



Does the foregoing summons and complaint have to be conformed or can I send the individual a copy of the documents?

Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Wei-Hong Chen


Yes, the summons and complaint should be conformed stamped. The conformed copies are what are served.


A jury verdict may be larger, but can always be appealed. I assume that you have a lawyer and are not trying to negotiate yourself, as you would only get a nuisance settlement. If you don't have a lawyer, get one from Avvo, so you can get maximum compensation.

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Frank Wei-Hong Chen

Frank Wei-Hong Chen


Yes, it is important to get a lawyer if you want to increase the chances and the amount of your recovery. I agree.


Your next option should be to set a meeting with a trial attorney who can discuss the circumstances of your case with you and give you a better idea of what to expect in front of a jury.

Every case is unique and while the insurance company is most likely low balling you, this doesn't necessarily mean that trial is always the best option.

Your consultation should be free of charge and you have no obligation to retain the attorney you speak with.

To answer the questions you ask; yes, if you are not willing to accept the offer made, the next step in the claim process would be to file suit against the defendant. Also, yes, the insurance company will provide the defendant with representation.

Good luck.

This response applies to California Law only and does not create any legal relationship between the attorney and the person who submitted the question.


You have up to two (2) years to file a lawsuit assuming this accident happened in California. You should certainly consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area regarding representing you on this matter and filing suit on your behalf. The opposing insurance company will appoint insurance defense counsel (either in-house or outside counsel) to represent the other person in the accident and it will be important to have a good lawyer to deal with that attorney and all of the other matters that arise in litigation. I have handled injury cases for 18 years in your area. Please feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation. Email:


My law firm handles car accident cases all over the state of California. You can read about these cases at . If you want to discuss your case, you may call me for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

No attorney/client relationship is or shall be created by this response on Avvo to non-clients of The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez.

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