What can I do about settling a claim that I do not agree with?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do about settling a claim that I do not agree with?

I was in an auto accident. I got a video of it from a nearby gas station and the other person ran a red light trying to get in her right turn before it turned. I was

making a left into a gas station and she hit me. The discrepancies are she stated she was going straight when she had just turned. The police never asked me or my passenger what happened. I was cited for failing to yield but

fought it and it was dismissed. I didn’t have car insurance at the time and now her insurer is suing me for her damages caused by her running the red light. In the suit it claims negligence against me. I, in good conscience, cannot agree

to these claims and enter into a settlement. It’s not the money that’s the issue it’s the untruths and how it looks on me.

Asked on March 15, 2016 under Accident Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You "settle" a claim by some combination of negotiation and/or showing the other side that their case is so weak that they don't have a realistic chance of winning. If that doesn't work--if they won't listen to the facts you cite and arguments you make, and/or any documentation, etc. you share with them to bolster your case--but insist on getting money from you, then your option is to either pay or defend the case in court: remember, they can't force you to pay unless and until they sue you and win. 
Possibly they won't sue--maybe, if the amount they are seeking is relative small, they will decide it is not worth the cost. If they do sue, you then need to decide if it's worth it to spend the time, effort, and emotional energy (not to mention money, if you hire a lawyer) to defend the case or if it's better to pay and go on with your life.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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