What are our options if the vehicle that caused the accident is self insured by a busines that refuses to offer a fair settlement?

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What are our options if the vehicle that caused the accident is self insured by a busines that refuses to offer a fair settlement?

We were the front car in a 3 car accident caused by the last car. The at fault vehicle is owned by a company that self-insures. The accident caused drive line failure. The self insured company will only pay for bumper damage and will not pay for drive line damage. The report from their adjuster is factually incorrect and contradicts statements by police and other drivers. Damage amounts are higher than small claim court limits in our state.

Asked on May 6, 2009 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether they are self-insured or insured with an outside insurance company is irrelevant.  If you have documentation to prove that their driver damaged your vehicle to the extent you indicate and they will not pay what they owe, your options are: hire an attorney to negotiate with them, hire an attorney and sue them, take what they are willing to give you, or sue in small claims court and take the maximum that court will allow if you win.  If you choose to hire an attorney, please note that there will be attorney fees which may or may not be paid by the self-insured company.  Speak to an attorney for the specific information and costs of filing a lawsuit and determine if it is worth it. 


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