How do I know if the insurance settlement offered to me is fair?

Asked on March 13, 2015 under Accident Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Total up your out-of-pocket costs or losses: items like cost to repair your car (or then-current fair market/blue book value if totalled); medical bills, if any; cost to rent a car while your car is in the shop; value of any personal property destroyed; towing costs; etc. Bearing in mind that you always take less than that total in a settlement (because you get the money faster and save the cost of suing; because if the other side doesn't get to pay less, they have no incentive to offer you a settlement), if you are being offered anything north of or more than 50% of your total losses or costs, then it's broadly speaking, "fair," since if you reject it, you'd have to sue to get more money. That's not to say you shouldn't negotiate and try to edge it up--but if you're getting the money fast and without the cost of a lawsuit, if it's more than 50% of your losses, it's in the ballpark.

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