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Consulting an Attorney, or Arbitration?

by Curt
(Battlefield, MO)

If I'm not satisfied with the ruling of the adjusters on my accident claim, what are my options? I've been told that if my case goes to an arbitrator, I must settle for their decision. Based upon that, should I consult an attorney before asking for arbitration?

I live in Missouri. The police report indicates both parties to have contributed to the accident. Neither were cited, but both were considered to have violated the rules of the road. So far, my insurance company has determined that I was liable, and then changed that to 50% liable. I am now waiting for the other drivers insurance company to complete their investigation.

I just want to be proactive in my approach to this situation.

Thanks for you help and for your website. It's been very helpful to me.

Battlefield, MO


Hi Curt,

Well, you have different options. In your policy, you most likely have a right of settlement clause, this means that the insurance company has a right to agree to a settlement if they believe it is the best thing for you.

This could be very unfair, but you do have some options. You can go after the person that caused the accident in court, and that judgment can bind the insurance company regardless of what agreement or decision the arbitration rules.

You could talk to an attorney to see if you can challenge your insurance company's decision. Your insurance company does have a duty to help you or to put your interest above theirs. You could request to see what investigation and/or information they are going to submit to arbitration to make sure that they are indeed in your side.

I hope this help,

Good Luck

Comments for Consulting an Attorney, or Arbitration?

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Jun 07, 2009
Your accident claim
by: Mike


I am a Missouri attorney that handles auto accident claims throughout the state. I came across your posting when browsing this website.
In Missouri, the amount that you are entitled to in settlement of your claim can be reduced in proportion to the degree of fault that is attributable to you in causing the accident.
At an arbitration, an attorney from the other driver's insurance will very likely attempt to maximize the amount of responsibility that you have from the collision. Without seeing the police report, it is difficult for me to assess any possible arguments that you could assert to maximize the fault of the other driver, but additional information, including witness statements, etc... may affect what is stated in the police report.
I would need further details to provide more accurate advice. I would be happy to assist in answering any further questions. My e-mail is Thanks.

NOTE: The use of this site does not establish an attorney-client privilege or relationship between the user and the attorney responding. The answer provided does not constitute legal advice and is educational in nature.

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