Should I Just Settle With The Insurance Company?

One of the most common things we hear from our car wreck and personal injury clients is “I’m not the type of person who sues.”  We understand — no one wants to be seen as “sue happy”, and we try very hard only to represent real car wreck and personal injury victims.

Since most people are not the “type” who sues, clients often want to know whether they will have to sue and/or go to trial.

Many times, Tennessee or Georgia car accident victims can settle their claims without filing a lawsuit. But—do not believe those bus, billboards or TV ads by the personal injury “settlement mills” that they can get you hundreds of thousands of dollars without filing a lawsuit. It’s just fact — many times to get the best result following an accident you will have to file a lawsuit.

The Insurance Company Settlement Process:

To understand why sometimes you need to file a lawsuit in your car wreck claim or personal injury claim, let us show you the process after a car, truck or motorcycle accident:

  • Step 1: The accident victim, if possible, starts getting medical treatment as soon as possible.  (Remember, Dennis and King can help you see a doctor if you need one.)
  • Step 2: The accident victim receives a letter from the insurance company for the other driver.  This letter typically says something along the lines of “We are the insurance company for John Smith.  We are investigating the claim and are requesting copies of your medical records and a recorded statement.”  (Do not agree to this ever, before speaking to a lawyer.)
  • Step 3: The accident victim or their family contacts and hires a Chattanooga car wreck lawyer who (hopefully) handles personal injury claims for victims of Tennessee or Georgia car, motorcycle or truck accidents and who does not represent insurance companies.
  • Step 4: The lawyer gathers important information, including medical records, accident reports, etc., speaks to the client about who was at fault (also called liability) and damages.
  • Step 5: The Chattanooga car wreck lawyer reaches out to the insurance company, makes a settlement demand, discusses what happened, and the claim gets settled or it doesn’t.

Obviously, this is a simplified version of how things happen after a car, truck or motorcycle accident.  Step 5 becomes the most important step for most people. Knowing whether you should settle your case with the insurance company or you should file a lawsuit is critical to getting the best possible recovery for yourself.

When should you settle a car accident? Before filing a lawsuit or after?

You may have seen the “settlement mill” lawyers on TV bragging about getting more for accident victims, or getting quick settlements after an accident.  Their claim about quick settlements may be true, but the real question is whether the settlement was fair and whether it was enough.

Sometimes, the facts about the car accident make settling with the car insurance company the best move.  When is this the case?

Why should I settle my claim?  Shouldn’t I file a personal injury lawsuit?

After a car, truck or motorcycle accident or other personal injury accident, you always have a right to sue the person or company that injured you.

But, as a rule, though, there is usually an insurance policy in place designed to cover your damages.  And, as a rule, the insurance company usually rather would settle with you in exchange for your agreement not to sue their insured.  It saves them the cost of defending a lawsuit, and if it is a fair settlement, it saves you the lengthy wait and aggravation of taking your case to trial.  The other advantage to you in settling, you do not run the risk of a jury giving you little or nothing.

But keep in mind, when you settle your car wreck case or other personal injury case with the insurance company, it is a compromise — you have to accept a little less than you want and, (if your attorney knows what they are doing) the insurance company has to pay a little more than they want to pay.

How does the insurance company decide to offer a settlement?

When a car wreck or other another accident injures you, an insurance policy usually is involved, especially in these types of accident: slip and fall, car, truck, ATV, boat, or motorcycle wreck or any other kind of accident.

Sometimes, you need to file the claim under your own car insurance if the driver that hit you lacks car insurance.  On the other hand, you usually file a claim directly with the insurance company of the person who injured you.

Either way, the insurance company handling your Georgia or Tennessee car wreck case, wants things to go two ways:  keep its costs low and reduce its risk of losing in court.  So, the insurance company usually wants to settle your claim — but remember they want to settle your car wreck or other personal injury case for as little as possible.

Should You Just Settle With Your Insurance Company


Get Paid Fast!

You have bills that need to be paid. We work with your insurance company to get you a settlement for your injuries fast. If you’ve been injured we can get you the money you deserve.


Medical Treatment

If you’ve been injured, you need medical treatment from a licensed physician. At Dennis and King, we connect our clients to our network of specialists to get you back on the road to recovery.

Personal injury attorneys - Cover of the the "know your rights after a serious car accident" PDF


Your Rights After A Serious Car Accident

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Looking for more free resources to help you with your personal injury claim?


A Personal Approach for Accident Victims

Personal Injury

Car Accidents

Truck Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents

ATV Accidents





Personal injury 

In almost all personal injury claims, insurance companies will offer you significantly less than what you deserve. It’s tempting to accept the first offer, especially if you are in a great deal of pain and unable to return to work. But if you’ve already taken a devalued settlement from the insurance company and your medical bills start to pile up, there’s little legal recourse to ask for more. That’s why it’s crucial to involve a Chattanooga personal injury lawyer before you even file a claim.

About Personal Injury >

Car Accidents

Chattanooga car accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King have recovered millions of dollars in Georgia and Tennessee for car and motor vehicle accident victims like you.  If you or a loved one has been injured and need help with your medical bills, then you have come to the right place.   Auto accident victims and their family members in East Tennessee and North Georgia can confidently rely on the experienced auto accident attorneys at Dennis and King. We are the law firm that has compassionately, yet effectively, helped victims and their loved ones navigate the aftermath of difficult situations.

Our Car Accident Lawyers >

Trucking Accidents

Truck accidents in the United States are on the rise. Recent statistics show that almost 150,000 people are injured in truck accidents each year, and 6,000 people are killed. The regional area of Georgia and Tennessee is a crossroads and a center for car manufacturing, river traffic, and other industries. Large trucks, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles are constantly on the road. This has a downside as frequent truck accidents occur on I-75, I-24, I-59, Highway 153, U.S. 27, Amnicola Highway, Corridor J, and other roadways. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia or Tennessee truck accident, you may be eligible for substantial compensation.

Our Truck Accident Lawyers >

Motorcycle Accidents

Experienced Chattanooga motorcycle accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King are avid fans of motorcycles, but they also realize how serious motorcycle accidents can be. With over 75 years of combined experience, Dennis and King Injury Law knows the legal process to achieve fair compensation for motorcycle crash victims. Contact one of our lawyers today to learn more about how to start your motorcycle accident claim.

About Motorcycle Accidents >

ATV Accidents

Under both Tennessee and Georgia law, ATVs are not authorized for use on paved road, but children continue to bring ATVs on to our roads and highways. Georgia and Tennessee laws also prohibit the carrying of passengers on most ATVs, require children below the age of 16 to take approved ATV training courses, and require kids younger than 16 to wear helmets, eye protection, and over-the-ankle boots when operating ATVs. However, these requirements apply only when ATVs are operated on public lands, leaving kids essentially without protection when riding ATVs on private property.

About ATV Accidents >

Bicycle Accidents

The most tragic type of bicycle crash is a bike-car collision. Cyclists are completely defenseless traveling on 30-pound bikes when they’re surrounded by 3,000-pound cars and trucks racing by them. Pedestrians, defective bike parts, recalled bike helmets, and other ineffective bicycle safety equipment can also cause bicycle accidents. Bike accidents can result in wrongful death or serious injuries such as broken bones, amputation, traumatic brain injury, neck, back, and spinal cord injuries.

About Bicycle Accidents >

Boating Accidents

One of three factors usually cause boat accidents: an inexperienced boater, an intoxicated operator, or a boat malfunction. More than a third of both fatal and non-fatal boat accidents are alcohol-related. It is estimated that boat operators with a blood alcohol content of .10 or higher are 10 times more likely to be injured or killed in a boat accident than sober operators.

About Boating Accidents >

Nursing Home Abuse

No one ever expects a family member or friend to be the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home. However, abuse and neglect do occur every day and in many ways.

Dennis and King are Chattanooga nursing home abuse attorneys who will fight to recover all that you and your loved one deserve. With our experience in nursing home negligence matters, we thoroughly and carefully assess each individual case. We prepare each case for either settlement or trial in order to obtain compensation for injury, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We help victims and their families hold these facilities accountable.

About Nursing Home Abuse >

Premises Liability

Premises liability is a vital facet of personal injury law, placing responsibility on property owners for maintaining a safe environment. When accidents occur due to negligence or hazardous conditions on someone’s property, victims have the right to seek compensation. This encompasses incidents like slip and falls or inadequate security leading to assaults. Dennis and King excel in handling these complex cases, tirelessly pursuing justice for our clients.

About Slip and Fall Injuries >


Free Strategy Session

During your initial strategy session, we will assist you in creating a strategy in how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a car accident claim, 18 wheeler injury, or, other kind of personal injury claim.

There are 5 points to your free claim strategy session:

  • First, we will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
  • Based on the information you provide, we will give you our best advice on both what claims you have and the next steps you should consider to go forward with your claim.
  • If you claim is something that we think we can help you with, we will explain the services that we can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
  • If your matter is something that we do not think we can help you with, then we will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
  • Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unknowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed light on what you can expect and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.