If you get hurt in a car accident, the insurance companies that are involved will have an outsized impact on the outcome of your case. How your insurance company represents your interests and how aggressively the other insurance company tries to deny them will make a big difference on whether you are able to recover the compensation that you need and deserve.
In many cases, victims have to fight insurance companies – sometimes even their own – to get the compensation they need. A personal injury lawyer from the law offices of Gilman & Bedigian can make sure your interests are taken care of.
Allstate's Insurance Claims Process
After a car accident, you will have to file a claim with Allstate if you are insured by them or, in some circumstances, if the other driver is insured by them. Filing a claim is as simple as reporting the incident to Allstate online or over the phone. You will receive a claim number so you can track it through their system and monitor its progress.
Once Allstate has been notified that you are claiming reimbursement from them for the costs of the accident, they will send an insurance claims adjuster to conduct an investigation. This investigation focuses on the extent of the damages as well as on determining who was at fault.
After the insurance adjuster investigates your claim, they will make a settlement offer that is based on the extent of your losses, the likelihood that someone else was at fault, your age, and even your lawyer's history of taking cases to trial. The amount of this settlement offer is often the result of Allstate's computer system, known as Colossus, which can lead to harsh offers that come across as tone deaf. While Allstate frequently claims that this settlement offer will make you whole, once again, that is almost never the case. Instead, the initial settlement offer is typically little more than a fraction of what Colossus has determined you would win, should your case go to trial.
How Allstate's Initial Settlement Offers Compare to Other Insurance Companies
Initially offering a fraction of what you deserve, though, is par for the course in the insurance world. That is, after all, one of the ways insurance companies can make so much money: they can either charge exorbitant premium prices to maximize their income, or they can aggressively push accident victims to take a settlement that radically undervalues their injuries and reduce the insurance company's expenses.
When compared to the other major insurance companies in the area, Allstate's initial settlement offer tends to fall near the middle of the pack. While there are insurance companies that offer initial settlements that more closely resemble what you deserve to receive in compensation for an injury, there are also a handful of other insurance companies that are even stingier than Allstate.
Allstate's Claim Response
However, Allstate's aggressiveness tends to come to the forefront if you refuse the initial offer or if you are filing a claim as a third party – if you are not insured by Allstate but were hurt by someone who is. In these cases, Allstate has a reputation of playing dirty in an attempt to reduce their payout and keep victims from recovering the full amount they deserve.
One way Allstate has been known to play dirty with insurance claims is by extending the claims process in an attempt to wear out accident victims until they give up and accept a settlement offer, no matter how low. These cases can be especially tricky to win because Allstate's attorneys – whether they are in-house lawyers in claims that do not threaten the policy's maximum payout, or big law firms hired to protect the company against larger claims – are willing to use almost any procedural loophole to elongate the process another week, month, or year. They are also incredibly frustrating because the only thing between a victim and the compensation that they deserve – and that Allstate has frequently committed to covering – is the creativity of Allstate's attorneys in finding a new way to delay the case.
These delay mechanisms extend into the lawsuit if you refuse the initial settlement offer and then hold out for what you really deserve.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Allstate for Compensation
If negotiations break down and Allstate has still refused to make a reasonable offer, the next step is to file a lawsuit against the insurance company to recover compensation for your injuries. In these cases, the lawsuit can be served on Allstate or on your state's Insurance Commission if you were insured by Allstate. If you are filing a third party claim against someone insured by Allstate, you would serve the lawsuit on the person that hurt you. Even though Allstate would defend the case with its own attorneys and would be on the hook to pay the liability, the other driver would be the defendant in the case.
How Personal Injury Lawyers from Gilman & Bedigian Can Help
Battling an insurance company like Allstate is not something that accident victims want to think about. You should be focused on getting better and returning to your old form, not worrying incessantly about who is going to pay for the costs of your recovery, property damage, and covering the wages you stand to lose while you get better.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are for-profit companies that rely on a mixture of maximizing their income by collecting all the premiums they can and keeping their expenses low by challenging all of the claims they face. Even if they have clearly committed to covering the costs of your losses in the insurance policy that you signed, you can count on an insurance company like Allstate to limit the amount they end up paying out by challenging the extent of your injuries and arguing that you were at least partially at fault.
The personal injury lawyers from Gilman & Bedigian can help combat these attempts to keep you from recovering the compensation you need and deserve, and that Allstate has agreed to pay. Contact us online if you have been hurt in an accident and want to recover what you deserve from Allstate.