Will I need help from a lawyer to get larger settlement from an insurance company?

I was followed and hit by a guy who in the end got a DUI and a batttery charge. I had my 2 kids with me and we didn’t sustain any injuries. His insurance company sent us a check but I don’t feel like it’s enough. What should I do?

Asked on September 27, 2017 under Accident Law, Florida


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since there weren't any injuries, you will have difficulty finding an attorney.
You will only be able to recover the cost of repairs (property damage) to your vehicle.
If you are unsuccessful at attempting to negotiate additional compensation to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle, your only recourse is to sue the at-fault party for negligence.
Depending on the amount of your damages, you may be able to file your lawsuit in small claims court. You can enforce a judgment in your favor with a wage garnishment against the defendant (drunk driver).  Upon prevailing in the case, you can also recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.
As for the check you received from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, if you accept it and sign a release of all claims, you won't be able to sue.
You should return the check to the insurance company and inform the insurance company in writing that you are rejecting it.

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