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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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