How to get settlement for damage from an insurance company?

A lady hit my van, which I drive as a taxi cab, while I was yielding for a pedestrian at a walking trail cross. I was told by the police operator to exchange all the information such as insurance, name, address and phone number and we did so. Later I called my insurance company for claim but they told me I only have liability coverage and they don’t do anything in this situation. Then I called the lady driver’s insurance company and their claim adjuster called me back, recorded everything about the incident. And she said she would call her client and get the statement the same way she did with me. I didn’t get any call back and so decided to call them and asked about why it is taking so long. Now the claim adjuster says, she is still trying to contact her client and get the statement from her, and can not issue any settlement until she gets in contact with her client and investigate after collecting her statement.

Asked on October 6, 2017 under Accident Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You cannot force the other driver's insurer to pay you compensation or offer you a settlement: it is voluntary on their part to do so. (Remember: they are the *other driver's* insurance: their obligation is to her, not to anyone else.) 
What you can do is sue the other driver (including in small claims court, if the amount you are seeking is below the small claims limit): if you prove in court that she was at fault (that is, driving negligently or carelessly when she hit you)--since only at-fault drivers are liable for the damage they cause--then you can get a court judgment requiring her to pay for your damage. At that point, either she or her insurer (which would have an obligation to pay for amounts she is ordered to pay, at least up to the policy limit) should pay you.

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