Should I hire an attorney or file small claim regarding a payment for my nsureri?

I have requested payment from my insurance adjuster for services provided and for meal reimbursement that totals over $5,000. I have contacted both the adjuster and his supervisor. I have sent them detailed emails with receipts to which they respond that they will take care of it but I have yet to receive payment. The meals and gas we have paid out of pocket totaling $2,900 and I have been trying to collect reimbursement for the past 4 months. Is it worth hiring an attorney to help resolve this case or should I file in a small claims court?

Asked on April 11, 2017 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While an attorney will *always* help you win--the lawyer has education and experience you (presumably) do not--economically, for $2,900, hiring a lawyer makes no sense. While lawyers do vary widely in what they charge, in my experience (northern NJ and NYC), a lawyer will charge at least $850, and possibly up to around $1,250 or even $1,500, for a case like this: even if you were to win everything you hope to win, you'd be giving up around a third, or more, of your compensation to your attorney--and if you lost, you'd come out well behind, since you'd still have to pay the attorney. It's better to have a somewhat worse chance of winning but save the money, when you are suing for this amount.


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