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Auto Insurance Lawsuit: Should You Settle or Sue in Court?

Updated: June 11, 2018

While no one thinks they will end up in such a situation, there are cases where an auto insurance lawsuit becomes inevitable.

Auto insurance lawsuits occur when the insurance company refuses to provide a certain level of compensation after an accident.

There are many reasons why an auto insurance lawsuit may occur.

For example, the auto insurance company may completely disagree with your version of events in relation to the accident and not offer any compensation at all.

In other cases, a lawsuit is necessary because the compensation offered by the insurance company is much lower than your valuation of the damages.

What is an Auto Insurance Settlement?

In order to understand whether a lawsuit is necessary against the insurance company, individuals must understand the basics of an auto insurance settlement.

The individual filing a claim will make a good faith estimate of the damages incurred and send this amount within the filed report.

Every insurance settlement involves a few steps. The first step is to file a claim with the relevant insurance company and provide them details about the accident. These details include what happened, what damages were incurred and any other relevant details.

The individual filing a claim will make a good faith estimate of the damages incurred and send this amount within the filed report. This allows the insurance company to assess the case and determine whether this damage estimate makes sense.

The insurance company will then decide on their settlement offer. This may match the offer you send, or it may be a lower number.

A lawsuit becomes a possibility if the number you send the insurance company is drastically different from the number they send back. For example, you may request $10,000 in compensation and the insurance company makes a counter-offer of $1,000. In such a case, finding an agreement through mediation may not be possible.

How to Get the Best Possible Auto Insurance Settlement?

If you find yourself on the brink of suing insurance company in an auto insurance settlement matter, it is too late to “rectify” this particular situation. However, you can learn from your mistakes and get a better auto insurance settlement in the future by following these steps.

When filing a claim with the relevant insurance company, make sure to include as many details in the filing as possible.

Always make sure you pay attention at the scene of the accident.

Take lots of pictures of your vehicle, talk to any witnesses and get their phone numbers, file a police report if necessary and keep documentation pertaining to vehicle damage, medical checkups and days missed from work because of the accident.

When filing a claim with the relevant insurance company, make sure to include as many details in the filing as possible. Describe the accident in complete detail, include all the documentation you collected and put as much information about your damage estimate as possible in your filing.

If you are worried the insurance company may not agree with your version of events, contact a lawyer BEFORE filing the claim. This gives the attorney time to go over your case and give you advice about how best to approach the situation.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle an Auto Insurance Settlement?

Lawyers are not always necessary to handle auto insurance settlements. There are many settlement cases where it is easy to determine who was at fault for the accident.

The earlier you contact an attorney, the more time they have to assess the case and recommend a course of action.

If you were not at fault for a crash, the other individual’s insurance company will have no problems providing the relevant compensation. The problem occurs when it is harder to determine fault. These cases result in both parties’ insurance companies digging in their heels and refusing to offer appropriate compensation.

For those individuals who find themselves in such a situation, it is best to contact a skilled attorney as early in the process as possible. The earlier you contact an attorney, the more time they have to assess the case and recommend a course of action.

Lawyers help in these cases because they know the system. They understand how insurance companies operate and they can manage the case in a composed and rational manner.

If you have a lawyer by your side, you will come out ahead in any type of auto insurance lawsuit.

Should I Settle or Sue in Court in Relation to an Auto Insurance Lawsuit?

The major question individuals ask themselves during an auto insurance lawsuit is whether they should go ahead and sue the insurance company or try to settle the case.

Your financial situation will also determine whether you should sue or settle. Individuals who can afford to wait months for compensation are better positioned to sue.

If you find yourself in such a spot, the best thing you can do is consult with your attorney. A lawyer who is experienced with these types of cases can tell you whether your circumstances merit a full lawsuit, or whether settling is the best option.

Your financial situation will also determine whether you should sue or settle. Individuals who can afford to wait months for compensation are better positioned to sue.

In contrast, someone who needs this money quickly may not be able to handle a prolonged lawsuit. They may prefer to settle for a slightly lower than ideal amount.

By talking with your lawyer in a candid manner, you can determine whether a civil lawsuit against insurance company is a sensible option, or whether you should put your pride on the shelf and negotiate a settlement in good faith.

How to Settle an Auto Insurance Lawsuit?

The fact is that you will struggle to settle an auto insurance lawsuit unless you have a competent attorney by your side. Insurance companies are known for doing anything in their power to get a favorable outcome from a case.

An attorney knows how insurance companies operate, which means they will make counter-offers in a smart and strategic manner.

The insurance company will never have your best interests at heart. This is especially true if the company you are trying to get compensation from is the other party’s insurance provider. The only way you can have your best interests looked after is by hiring an attorney and allowing them to do their job.

An attorney knows how insurance companies operate, which means they will make counter-offers in a smart and strategic manner. The idea is to get the insurance company closer to their “limit” in terms of a compensation offer.

Attorneys who are good at their job can manage to settle an auto insurance lawsuit within a few sessions of mediation or negotiation. The only time the process takes longer is if the case is especially complicated.

With a good lawyer by your side, there is no reason why your auto insurance lawsuit cannot get resolved within a few weeks.