What can I do if I want to hurry up the insurance company settlement from a car accident?

The demand letter was sent over 30 days ago and still their dragging their feet. I’m doing this claim without a lawyer and want to ask if I file a suit against the driver at fault in small claims cour,t do you think they might take this matter a little more seriously?

Asked on August 3, 2015 under Personal Injury, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they will certainly take the matter more seriously: what you have to remember is that until and unless you sue the at-fault driver in court and win, any settlement or compensation from that driver's insurer is purely volunary--they don't have to pay you unless you get a judgment in your favor. Since they don't have to pay you, they can drag their feet as much as they like, in hopes that you'll give up on the case. A lawsuit means that there is the possibility of a court judgment against their driver, and the likelihood of the insurer having to spend money on lawyers; it also puts a time frame on matters, since there will be resolution by or shortly after the trial date. All those factors put pressure on them to resolve the matter, unless they believe there is simply no merit to your claim (e.g. they believe that their driver was not at fault, since only an at-fault driver has to pay).


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