How do I negotiate a settlement offer by the other party’s insurer?

I am currently settling a claim with auto insurance company about a car accident I was involved in. Another car rushed past a red light on an intersection as my light turned green and blocked my way forcing me to collide onto them. We filed the claim with the other driver’s insurer because ours did not cover collisions. However, despite it clearly being the other driver’s fault, they are saying that they went on a yellow at a speed much lower than it was and are only accepting 60% fault. What can I do to negotiate this settlement a little higher since in actuality it should be more like 100% fault for them. However, it seems that whatever I argue, the adjustor shuts it down and with no police report it makes it hard to prove our case. What can i do?

Asked on June 24, 2016 under Accident Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There really is nothing you can do other than telling then that you believe it was their driver's fault, that you will not accept less than $X, and that you are prepared to go to trial if you don't get what you want. Either they will or will not be willing to pay for it.
Bear in mind that 60% is good for a settlement. The other side will only settle if they save money vs. going to trial; if you want close to what they'd pay if they go to trial and lose, they have no incentive to settle--they may as well try the case, because they could win (no case is very certain). Unless you let them have a worthwhile savings, they will not settle.
Also bear in mind that if you do go to trial, you will have your own attorney's fees to pay OR have to act as your own lawyer; plus it will take months or even more than a year or two to get to trial and get the money; and that again, you can't count on winning. There is a reason why plaintiffs (people suing) settle for less than the full amount: it saves them time, it saves them cost, and it guarantees being paid something.


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