If I was in an accident and the other party’%s insurance company has decided that I am 20 at fault so they are only willing to pay 80%, should I be contacting an attorney and fighting for full 100%?

Asked on May 4, 2017 under Accident Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There are two questions you need to ask yourself in this regard:
1) Do you agree that you are roughly 1/5th or 20% at fault? If so, there's not point in fighting--they've made the correct determination.
2) Even if you think you are 0% at fault, that 20% difference--how much money does it represent? Assume that hiring an attorney can cost you several thousand dollars--in my experience, a bare minimum of around $1,500, and possibly  $5,000 or moreif you end up having to go all the way to trial and also having "motion practice" (basically, a "paperwork fight" that precedes the trial). If 20% of what you think you are entitled to is, say, $1,500 (that is, the whole claim is $7,500, so 1/5th is $1,500), there's no point in fighting: you'll spend as much or more on the lawsuit as you hope to get back. Basically, only if that 20% is at least $5,000 (so the whole claim is at least $25,000) is it probably worth fighting.

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