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Big Auto Insurance Company: Is this claim settlement illegal? Is this worth going to court over?

Jupiter, FL |

My insurance comp. sent me a claim settlement that noted:
"If we don't hear from you by January 13, 2011, we'll assume your claim has been concluded to your satisfaction."

It was mailed FIRST CLASS (not Certified) Mail! The USPS makes it clear that this mail takes at least 2-3 days to get to it's destination. The stamp was created on Jan. 10, 2011 & the US Postal Service says it may have been mailed on Jan. 11,2011. (I actually received it in my PO Box on Jan 18, 2011)

The insur. comp. did not notify my appraisal group that they were trying to settle directly with me (they had also initially denied my right to hire my own appraiser).

I believe some laws have been broken. I would like to have a free consultation to see if it's worth pursuing in court. Any lawyers willing to meet?

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Attorney answers 3


Never try to settle a claim yourself. Please note, lawyers can't solicit you on here. It is against avvo rules to even put your link on an answer, but unethical lawyers do it. Just search "find a lawyer" "car accident" and your city, and any lawyer would be happy to take your case.

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I've received tons of those letters over the years. It is a bluff. The only cut off date applicable to the insurance company is the statute of limitations.

Retain an attorney to go forward with the claim. There is no file closing. There is also no requirement that the insurance company run up its expenses by using the old fasioned snail mail "certified" mail. Most people these days refuse to accept it or to waste their time going to the smail mail post office to pick it up, My office never uses "certified" mail except in those circumstances where a statute requires it.

I truly wish you the best.

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Do you see why it's the insurance companies themselves that make plaintiffs' lawyers necessary? This kind of behavior is meant to deceive you into believing that the insurance adjuster's timetable somehow supercedes the law.

You ask whether this is worth going to court over. Well, the clause in the letter is not court-worthy in and of itself. You need to know when the statute of limitations is up on your claim. In most collision cases in Florida, the claim is for negligence which has a 4 year statute. UM claims have a 5 year statute.

The insurance company can "close its file" all it wants; but it will have to open it back up when you present any info to them, or when you file suit.

Unless your statute has run, I don't think that you have much to fear from that letter. But I think you can see that you're not being treated fairly without an attorney to represent you.

Dennis Phillips, Esq.

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