Do I Have to Settle with the Insurance Company

  • Filed Under:
  • May 25th, 2016

If you have been in a wreck and are dealing with your insurance company, you may or may not be getting a fair settlement offer. Unfortunately, most people don’t have enough experience to really know if they are being treated fairly, and this is where working with an attorney can be incredibly beneficial. If you have any questions, you can call my office, but in the meantime, here are answers to a few of the questions I hear on a regular basis:

Do I have to file a claim with my insurance company or with the other driver’s?

In Kentucky, you need to file a claim with yours, since everyone in the state is required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This is where your claim process begins, and they are supposed to pay for your medical bills, any damage to your car, and lost wages due to the accident.

My insurance company said they are not going to pay any more, but I still need medical care. What do I do?

In this case, you are probably going to have to file a lawsuit. It is critical that you do so right away. In Kentucky, you have only one year within to file a claim for personal injury, so if you are anywhere near this deadline, you need to call an attorney and file a lawsuit immediately. Otherwise, you will lose your opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, the insurance company may try to draw out the negotiation process for as long as possible because once they pass the one-year mark, they are negotiating without the threat of a lawsuit, which is in their best interest but not in yours.

The insurance company doesn’t want to pay for my lost wages. What do I do?

Again, you may need to file a lawsuit. If you lost time from work or have suffered such an injury as to prevent you from working in the same capacity, you have the right to seek compensation for your current and future lost wages. The challenge is that your PIP insurance has set limits, and those limits are often not enough to pay for your true losses. In this case, your only option would be to file a lawsuit within the first year (

When will I need to decide whether to take the insurance company’s offer?

There are a few things you should consider. First, you may not know what your medical care is going to cost right away. You may have injuries that go away after a month, or you may require long-term care or physical therapy. You don’t want to settle before you know the answer to this. Second, you may be unaware of all the treatments needed. For example, if you hurt your back, you may start with physical therapy but you may eventually need surgery. It can take time to find out, and if you settle too soon, you may miss out on the opportunity to have those expenses covered. The same is true for any time you have lost from work. With that in mind, the best way to preserve all your legal and financial options is to call an attorney and file a lawsuit within one year of your accident ( This ensures that your options and your rights are protected.

Can I start off negotiating with the insurance company and then decide to sue?

Yes, but it helps if you do so while working with an attorney. In this way, nothing that happens during the negotiation process could be used to hurt your chances of success during a possible trial later. In fact, I typically start by negotiating and only recommend going to court when necessary.

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