If I was in an accident and the at fault driver’s insurer is offering me less than what I’m due for time away from work, can I take either the driver or their insurer to small claims?

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If I was in an accident and the at fault driver’s insurer is offering me less than what I’m due for time away from work, can I take either the driver or their insurer to small claims?

We’ve been going back and forth for 4 months but their offer is much less than what I think I should get.

Asked on May 5, 2014 under Accident Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you disagree with the settlement offer, you can reject it and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  You should file your lawsuit in Superior Court because Small Claims Court limits on recovery will not be sufficient compensation for you.

A settlement offer from the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include compensation for your medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, and compensation for wage loss.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and is based on the medical reports which document the nature and extent of your injury.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with the settlement offer, reject the settlement offer from the insurance carrier and as mentioned above, file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Based upon what you have writetn about concerning the accident that you were in, you have the right under all laws in this country to file suit against the person who caused you damages and take him or her to small claims court for property damages (costs of repairs), pain and suffering and lost income.


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