What can I do if my insurance will not settle with enough money? 53 Answers as of June 19, 2013

I am trying to deal with an insurance company due to an auto accident where I was rear-ended. I have been getting therapy from a chiropractor for about 2 months now and this company keeps calling me asking me to sign an authorization form. They told me also today on that they will no longer pay for any more therapy and they are only offering me $400 to settle. They said they will pay all medical bills which total to about $2000 which final settlement will be only $2400, but I told them I am trying to get well. They want to settle with me now or that's all they will offer. They are not interested with my pain and suffering and I have really suffered. I told them the doctor wants a MRI, but they will not pay for any more medical bills. They offered for $400 and that was final. So could you tell me what should I do? This accident occurred on 7/27/11 and I have not worked since. My left leg and lower back with disc 5 my doctor tells me it needs more time to heal but seems to not get any better. I am still in pain taking medication and was given a body-med to carry home with me to help me sleep from spasm's and lower back pain. I can hardly walk or stand or bend.

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The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
Hire an injury attorney. Right now you have no leverage because you are unrepresented. Once you have an attorney, you have the threat of a lawsuit; which is the only thing that encourages insurance companies to pay money out on claims.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 10/6/2011
The Unger Law Firm
The Unger Law Firm | Jeffrey Unger
Unfortunately, this is an experience that many an injured person has when trying to deal with an insurance company. In many cases it is nearly impossible for an injured person to receive the compensation the medical treatment they need to get better, for the time they missed from work and for the pain they experienced without the help of an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you get the damages you are entitled to following an automobile accident.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 10/5/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
Do not sign anything. The insurance company is trying to get you to sign a settlement that is not allow you to claim any other pain and/or suffering after you sign the agreement and you will not be able to go after them for any additional money. You need to hire an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 10/5/2011
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
You need to call my office immediately to discuss your options. This is very normal for the insurance company to threaten you and to try to coerce you into settling your claim. My office is very familiar with these tactics and we will be able to take the threats and coercive tactics off of you. Additionally, we will assist you with receiving the medical treatment that you need to help you get better.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 10/5/2011
Chalat Hatten & Koupal PC
Chalat Hatten & Koupal PC | Linda Chalat
You should contact a personal injury attorney before communicating any further with the insurance company. They are offering a very low-ball settlement amount - even if you pay a one-third fee to an attorney, you will probably receive a significantly greater amount of money with a lawyer representing your claims. And most personal injury firms provide free initial consultations and contingent fee arrangements where you only pay attorney fees if the attorney collects on your behalf. If your doctor is recommending a MRI, then you may have long term difficulties that require medical attention so do not settle until you have a complete idea of your condition. You have three years in Colorado in which to file a lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle accident, so you have plenty of time for proper diagnosis.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/5/2011
    Law Office of Mark P. Miller | Mark Miller
    If the insurance company isn't willing to settle for what you believe is a fair settlement then your only options are to sue the at fault driver or hire an attorney and hope that s/he can get a higher settlement for you without taking the case to trial. Attorneys work on hourly, flat fee, contingency fee and a combination of the three. You might find an attorney who would work with you hourly but they'd probably want a retainer up front to work off of.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/5/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Chiropractic care does not impress insurance companies or juries. Go to an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation. Use your own auto insurance medical payments coverage. Send the exam report to me for further consideration .
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 10/5/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    I am not at all surprised that the insurance company is responding this way to you. It is a very common tactic - the company is trying to pressure you into settling a claim at this time, and it is clearly not the right time. You should not be negotiating at all until you are at a medical end result, that is, when you are feeling 100%, or the doctors feel that no further treatment is necessary. I see that the company is also refusing to pay for any further medical treatment. Given what you have described, I would strongly suggest that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area immediately to handle all of these issues for you. You need someone on your side to explain to you your rights under the law. Don't let the insurance company push you around.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/5/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    You should retain a personal injury attorney to assist you. The insurance company will take your attorney more seriously. It likely believes it can push you around because you are unfamiliar with how the claim system works. There are a number of ways to fund your medical treatment which your attorney could handle easily. Your pain and suffering, as well as loss of work, are worth well more than $400.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/5/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You have what sou8nds like a pretty typical soft tissue case, with perhaps nerve root irritation caused by a disc. That is why the chiro wants an MRI. You ought to see a neurosurgeon to find out for sure whether you might need surgery. You probably ought not to continue with the chiro. Your offer is pretty typical of Allstate, Nationwide (who write most auto insurance in NC) and perhaps other companies. You need a personal injury lawyer to represent you and you need to followup with the neuro. If you have neurological injury ( the MRI should show) your case ought to be worth a good bit more than you have been offered. Insurance companies are largely arrogant and nasty about such cases as yours.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 10/5/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    Hire a personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A.
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. | Orman Kimbrough, Esq.
    In Florida your own automobile insurance company is to pay benefits to you from the Personal Injury Protection part of your policy; however, it seems that you are dealing with the insurance company of the driver or owner of the car that struck you. Assuming that to be the case, I recommend you speak directly to an Orlando personal injury attorney who can advise you of your particular rights. I do not recommend you continue to deal with the insurance company directly without advice from an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/5/2011
    The Murphy Law Firm
    The Murphy Law Firm | Candace M Murphy
    Your injuries and other damages such as loss wages sustained as a result of this accident can be evaluated by an attorney. Additionally, you should not sign any documents associated with your claim until you speak to an attorney about them. On the surface, you appear to have a claim. However, there may facts of which you are unaware that may impact your case that you are not aware. When you consult with an attorney regarding the facts and merits of your case, he/she will be able to make the final determination.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    Here is a case where an experienced injury attorney can really make a difference. The first thing that hiring a lawyer will do is make your recovery easier as the insurance company will no longer bother you. The attorney will also take care of all the little details like collecting all your bills and medical records. Most importantly, the injury lawyer will know how to evaluate your case and set a fair recovery value, an amount that includes pain and suffering. When I handle cases like this, the amount of compensation for medical bills seems to be the least significant figure involved. The intangible damages such as pain and inconvenience, losing your life for weeks or months, these are the more significant damages and they are worth fighting for in a lawsuit if necessary. Lastly, the injury attorney will now when it is appropriate to begin the settlement process.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    Do not settle your own case. The insurance company simply wants to be done with you as quickly as possible. Two reasons to retain an attorney ASAP if not sooner (1) an attorney has a duty to you, and to you only , to, among other things, disclose all potential elements of your settlement, (2) the insurance industry's own statistics indicate that once an attorney is brought in, the value of the claim increases by double or more. Last year a person came to me who had been attempting to settle their own case. After they retained me, I was able to achieve an ultimate settlement of over 4 times what he had demanded.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Sue your insurance company. By the way compensation for pain and suffering comes from the other driver and/or his car insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray
    The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray | Shawn M. Murray
    From what you are relating it appears that the insurance company is not going to treat you fairly unless you hire an attorney to handle the matter. Consequently, that's what you should do.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Retain a plaintiff's personal injury attorney to represent you even at the settlement stage of your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Don't agree to anything until you consult a qualified personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    The insurance company is not on your side. They are trying to settle your case for as little money as possible. You should not even consider trying to settle until you are better or you are as good as you are going to get. Do not sign a release because some allow the adjuster to talk to your doctors. Sometimes the adjuster tells the doctor they won't pay for a test or treatment that the doctor is recommending. Then the doctor doesn't order it. Your doctor should not be talking to the insurance company they should be trying to get you better. You need to get an injury attorney right away. You can then worry about getting better while the lawyer takes care of the insurance company and your claim. Do not try to handle on your own. Hire a professional that deals with insurance companies on a regular basis. Injury lawyers do not charge you unless and until they receive money for you. A good lawyer will protect you and not let the insurance company rush you into a bad settlement. The insurance company will have to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    That is why you hire attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Office of Dean B. Gordon
    Law Office of Dean B. Gordon | Dean B. Gordon
    You should definitely speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. Insurance companies usually offer very small amounts to unrepresented accident victims because many of them will accept whatever is offered. An experienced attorney can usually obtain a greater net recovery for the accident victim after medical bills and attorney fees and costs are paid.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    I don't understand why you haven't hired a lawyer or tried to hire one. In my experience when people are not represented by an attorney the other party's insurance company sometimes treats them fairly and sometimes tries to take advanrage of them. Decades ago I had a client come into my office who was in a car accident and had gone to a chiropractor and tried to settle his case without a lawyer. The insurance company adjuster lied and told him that in Nevada chiropractic treatment wasn't accepted in the courts so they wouldn't pay him anything. I signed the client up and demanded three times the bills from the insurance company. They immediately agreed and paid. Of course, this case stands out in my memory after all these years because of the great contrast between the way the insurance company treated the unrepresented client and the way they responded when a lawyer was involved. It is only fair to point out that most insurance companies today will not offer three times chiropractic bills no matter who the lawyer is. But very often the insurance company will try to take advantage of the unrepresented individual.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of J. Michael Gatien
    Law Office of J. Michael Gatien | J. Michael Gatien
    A lawsuit will probably need to be filed subject first to the following. Your chiropractor should refer you to a Neurosurgeon for a complete analysis. The MRI is appropriate at this point but, I recommend that the surgeon order it.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of Vance R. Redmond
    Law Office of Vance R. Redmond | Vance R. Redmond
    From your facts, it sounds like the injuries you sustained in the accident have prevented you from working. Those "lost wages" should be a part of your settlement along with an agreement about the costs for future treatment related to these injuries. You should consult with attorney before you sign anything, period.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Why haven't you consulted with a personal injury attorney? What are you waiting for? It is foolhardy for you do deal directly with any insurance company if you think that there may be a substantial claim.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    This is why you need a lawyer. First of all, your insurance company covers you with no-fault for your medical bills and your time out of work. It doesn't matter that it was the other driver's fault; that's why they call it "no-fault". As long as the doctor signs that the treatment is medically necessary and related to the accident, you are covered. If they deny the treatment, they have to give you a written denial and you can appeal. As for "final settlement" and pain and suffering, that is up to the insurance company for the driver of the other vehicle. You can only recover financially from an injury if you have what is considered a "serious injury" as that term is defined by law. This includes death, miscarriage, fractures, a total disability that lasts 90 days or a permanent partial disability. The injury must be confirmed by objective medical proof such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or nerve conduction study. It may be that the full extent of your injuries have not yet been medically determined: you have not had the MRI yet, you don't know how long you will be out of work, you don't know what treatment you will need in the future and there has been no determination as to whether there will be any permanent consequences. As to what you should do: get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You should contact a personal injury attorney about handling the case. The insurance company will likely back off or give you more time with the doctor to get better.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    You need to retain an attorney immediately. Having seen hundreds of similar cases, I can assure you that the insurance company won't make a reasonable offer until you have someone on your side who can litigate the matter if necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C.
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C. | L. Todd Kelly
    This is a standard response from insurance companies. They do not want to pay for personal injuries, and they will almost laugh at pain and suffering damages. You will almost certainly need to hire a personal injury attorney if you want to make them pay more.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Offices of Bodey & Bodey, PLLC
    Law Offices of Bodey & Bodey, PLLC | Michael Bodey
    You simply need to get an attorney. This case needs to be evaluated after a thorough review of your medical records. Also, and more importantly, diagnostic studies such as to MRI, x-rays, CT scans etc., will need to be reviewed thoroughly. Bottom line here is it does not appear as though treatment has concluded, and there also appears to be some significant medical residual problems for which that insurance company will not want to be responsible for. That is the reason for the pressure they are applying on you for settlement. I hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    You need to hire a lawyer. You also should see an MD to validate your condition, if you have only seen a chiropractor.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm | Spencer E. Farris
    It is difficult to deal with insurance companies if you are doing it for the first time- they have professionals and if you do not have someone on your side, you are at a significant disadvantage. Settlement out of court is not mandatory, and you can't force them to pay you more unless a jury says they must. If you don't feel the company is being fair with you, you should hire an experienced trial lawyer to take your side. If the settlement they are offering is fair, your lawyer will tell you. If not, your lawyer can take the necessary steps to file suit. Many times the insurance company will only make a fair offer AFTER suit is filed!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley | Christopher Earley
    They will never pay you fair value since you are unrepresented.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You need an attorney ASAP or you will find yourself another victim of Michigan's auto insurers. They make a living off of not properly paying claims and ripping off policy holders.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Ryan L. Hilts, Attorney at Law
    Ryan L. Hilts, Attorney at Law | Ryan L. Hilts
    In Oregon, your own automobile insurance (PIP) will pay for your medical expenses for one year or up to $15,000, whichever comes first (assuming you have the minimum PIP coverage required in Oregon). PIP will also pay for 70% of your lost wages, up to $3,000 per month. At the end of the case, the at-fault driver's insurance company will then be responsible for repaying the related medical bills and 100% of the wages, and will also pay an amount for your pain and suffering damages. It sounds like you are being contacted by the at-fault insurer, who would have no authority to cut off your medical treatment. It is not a good idea to try to settle your case while you still need treatment and while you still should have plenty of PIP coverage through your own insurance company. You have no legal obligation to discuss your case with the at-fault insurer. They also have no legal right to obtain a medical authorization from you. You might benefit from seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    The insurance company is jerking you around because that's what insurance companies do. They make money by not paying claims. They know that if they are nasty enough, most claimants who do not have lawyers will just give up.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    Retain a lawyer to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies, like the one you're dealing with, are the cause of most of the litigation involving personal injury cases. They won't pay unless forced to do so.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer | Philip C. Alexander
    You need to immediately contact an attorney. This is typical behavior for an insurance company in trying to strong arm you into a terrible settlement. You should continue your medical treatment, cease communication with the insurance company, and immediately obtain legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Sargent Law Firm
    Sargent Law Firm | Ryan Sargent
    You need to speak with a personal injury attorney asap. The insurance company's number one goal is to pay out as little as possible. They will take advantage of you because they know you do not have the experience and tools to keep them accountable. I would be very interested in taking on your case. My law firm does not charge anything unless we win your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    It sounds like you need to speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer. We offer a free consultation. It is quite common that the insurance company for the other driver issues these types of "ultimatums" and "final" offers at this stage. Don't fall for it. In Colorado, you have up to 3 years to make a claim. You should never agree to any settlement unless and until you are fully aware of all your medical injuries, and other damages and losses. At this point, you are not. If an MRI is recommended, you should have one for sure. You should continue to get the treatment you need as well. You should hire a lawyer and let them deal with the insurance company while you focus on getting treatment and getting better.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Hire an attorney to pursue the matter further.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    The first you thing you need to do after stop communicating with the other driver's insurance company, is to call an experienced personal injury attorney. Your rights to medical care have nothing to do with the other driver's insurance company. Florida is a no-fault state, which means your own insurance company is responsible for paying 80% of the first $10,000.00 of your medical bills. Thereafter, depending upon the ultimate severity of your injuries, you are entitled to make a claim against the other driver's insurance company for the value of your injuries. And, if necessary you may file a lawsuit against the other driver/his insurance company. Attempting to handle this complicated process without proper legal representation will only cause you grief and cost you money.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Greg Peterson, Attorney at Law
    Greg Peterson, Attorney at Law | Greg Peterson
    Settlement is final. You should rarely consider anything but a policy limit surrender if you are still treating or need additional diagnostic tests. It is unusual that this carrier is paying some of your medical bills, but it not surprising that they want to control and limit your treatment and diagnostic testing. If the insurance company refuses to recognize (or even discuss) your pain and suffering you need legal counsel. Without an attorney you will not realize the full value of your claim. You should seek out the medical treatment and diagnostic treatment that your doctor recommends. Your medical bills should be and submitted to and paid by either your health insurance or possibly your auto insurance under your med pay coverage. You have two years form the date of the injury to pursue a legal action.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    You need a lawyer. It is an easy case to handle for an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Parks Law Group
    Parks Law Group | Melinda J. Parks
    It sounds like you have a valid claim. Many insurance companies will try to settle a claim for as little as possible. You should speak to an attorney as the attorney will be able to better negotiate your pain and suffering damages if there are any. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/4/2011
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