What To Do When You Disagree With A Car Insurance Settlement

28 March 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you recently experienced a car accident, and are not happy with the settlement that you have been offered by your insurance company for your vehicle, you do have a few means of addressing your concerns.

Hire An Independent Appraiser

The first thing you need to do is hire an outside appraiser to inspect your car.  An outside appraiser will be able to determine what extent they think your vehicle was damaged. You need to make sure that the appraiser you hire is not associated with your insurance company and that they are licensed in your state.

You also need to make sure that the appraiser you hire is willing to make a written statement and to appear as an expert witness on your behalf as you pursue your case. 

You can submit the written statement to your insurance company. Once your insurance company sees the independent appraiser's assessment you may be able to get a better settlement offer.

Ask For A Mediator

The second thing you need to do, if you do not get the offer you were looking for after submitting the information from your independent appraiser, is ask your insurance company to meet with a mediator to make a determination based on the evidence you both submitted.

The mediator will hear the insurance company's point of view as well as yours and use that to determine how much you should be paid. Usually mediation is non-binding. At the mediation, you can have an attorney represent your side of the case. 

Go For An Arbitrator

Finally, if you and your insurance company cannot come to an accessible conclusion, you can go through an arbitration process.  In an arbitration process process, both sides will be able to present witnesses from your accident as well as expert witnesses. Once again, you can hire your own attorney to represent you. An experienced attorney will know what evidence to present to show your side of the case and will be able to assist you with achieving the outcome you desire. 

The decision that your arbitrator makes in your case is generally legally binding. You will know that information before you go into the process. If the arbitration is legally binding, this will be the end of the dispute process for you. If the arbitration was not legally binding, you could take your case to small claims court and allow a judge to hear your case. 

To learn more, contact a law firm like Bidegaray Law Firm LLP